Revision 542441 of JavaScript

  • Revision slug: Glossary/JavaScript
  • Revision title: JavaScript
  • Revision id: 542441
  • Created:
  • Creator: Jeremie
  • Is current revision? No
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Revision Content

Summary

JavaScript is a programming language primary used by {{Glossary("Browser", "web browsers")}} to allow dynamic scripting of web pages. It can also be used {{Glossary("Server","server")}} side to perform any sort of action.

In depth

A bit of history

JavaScript  was originally developed by Brendan Eich when he was working for Netscape Corp. It was primary a project to provide a new server side language but despite this, it was made available for the first time in a browser within {{Glossary("Netscape Navigator","Netscape 2.0")}} in September 1995. As JavaScript gained a quick widespread success, Microsoft introduced its own JavaScript support in {{Glossary("MS Internet Explorer","Internet Explorer 3.0")}}, released in August 1996.

Known fact: Does JavaSacript as anything to do with Java? Technically speaking, no, nothing at all. Java and JavaScript are two different programming langages with almost nothing in common. However, in the early days of JavaScript, when Netscape decided to ship it, they also ship the support for Java applets within their {{Glossary("browser")}}. So mainly for marketing reason, what was previously named "LiveScript" were rebranded "JavaScript".

In November 1996, Netscape started working with Ecma International to turn JavaScript into an industry standard. Since then, the standard version of JavaScript is known under the name ECMAScript and the specification is known as ECMA-262. The most well known (and currently mostly implemented) version of ECMAScript is ECMA-262 3rd edition. The current version, available in every modern {{Glossary("Browser", "web browser")}} is ECMA-262 5th edition. A 6th edition of ECMAScript is currently under heavy work.

Usage

JavaScript is mostly known to its usage with {{Glossary("Browser", "web browsers")}}. In this context, it let web developers to perform many different actions: Manipulating the page content through the {{Glossary("DOM")}}, manipulating data with {{Glossary("AJAX")}} and {{Glossary("IndexedDB")}}, creating graphics with {{Glossary("canvas")}}, interacting with the device running the browser through various  {{Glossary("API","APIs")}}. etc.

The recent increase of {{Glossary("API","APIs")}} available in the browsers as well as a huge improvement of their performance make it one of the most used langage in the world.

Recently, JavaScript came back to the server with the success of the Node JS platform. This platform provide a full JavaScript runtime environment outside the browser which can be used on any computer platform (Linux, MacOS and Windows). It's not the only one but it is currently the most used to run JavaScript outside the browsers. It allow to use JavaScript as a scripting language to automate things on a PC as well as to build fully functional {{Glossary("HTTP")}} and {{Glossary("Web Sockets")}} servers.

Know more

General knowledge

Learning JavaScript

Technical reference

Revision Source

<h2 id="Summary">Summary</h2>
<p>JavaScript is a programming language primary used by {{Glossary("Browser", "web browsers")}} to allow dynamic scripting of web pages. It can also be used {{Glossary("Server","server")}} side to perform any sort of action.</p>
<h2 id="In_depth">In depth</h2>
<h3 id="A_bit_of_history">A bit of history</h3>
<p>JavaScript &nbsp;was originally developed by Brendan Eich when he was working for Netscape Corp. It was primary a project to provide a new server side language but despite this, it was made available for the first time in a browser within {{Glossary("Netscape Navigator","Netscape 2.0")}} in September 1995. As JavaScript gained a quick widespread success, Microsoft introduced its own JavaScript support in {{Glossary("MS Internet Explorer","Internet Explorer 3.0")}}, released in August 1996.</p>
<div class="note">
 <p><strong>Known fact:</strong> Does JavaSacript as anything to do with Java? Technically speaking, no, nothing at all. Java and JavaScript are two different programming langages with almost nothing in common. However, in the early days of JavaScript, when Netscape decided to ship it, they also ship the support for Java applets within their {{Glossary("browser")}}. So mainly for marketing reason, what was previously named "LiveScript" were rebranded "JavaScript".</p>
</div>
<p>In November 1996, Netscape started working with Ecma International to turn JavaScript into an industry standard. Since then, the standard version of JavaScript is known under the name ECMAScript and the specification is known as ECMA-262. The most well known (and currently mostly implemented) version of ECMAScript is ECMA-262 3rd edition. The current version, available in every modern {{Glossary("Browser", "web browser")}} is ECMA-262 5th edition. A 6th edition of ECMAScript is currently under heavy work.</p>
<h3>Usage</h3>
<p>JavaScript is mostly known to its usage with {{Glossary("Browser", "web browsers")}}. In this context, it let web developers to perform many different actions: Manipulating the page content through the {{Glossary("DOM")}}, manipulating data with {{Glossary("AJAX")}} and {{Glossary("IndexedDB")}}, creating graphics with {{Glossary("canvas")}}, interacting with the device running the browser through various &nbsp;{{Glossary("API","APIs")}}. etc.</p>
<p>The recent increase of {{Glossary("API","APIs")}} available in the browsers as well as a huge improvement of their performance make it one of the most used langage in the world.</p>
<p>Recently, JavaScript came back to the server with the success of the <a href="http://nodejs.org/" rel="external">Node JS</a> platform. This platform provide a full JavaScript runtime environment outside the browser which can be used on any computer platform (Linux, MacOS and Windows). It's not the only one but it is currently the most used to run JavaScript outside the browsers. It allow to use JavaScript as a scripting language to automate things on a PC as well as to build fully functional&nbsp;{{Glossary("HTTP")}} and {{Glossary("Web Sockets")}} servers.</p>
<h2 id="Know_more">Know more</h2>
<h3 id="General_knowledge">General knowledge</h3>
<ul>
 <li><a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JavaScript" rel="external">JavaScript on Wikipedia</a></li>
</ul>
<h3 id="Learning_JavaScript">Learning JavaScript</h3>
<ul>
 <li><a href="/en-US/docs/Web/JavaScript/Guide">The JavaScript guide on MDN</a></li>
 <li><a href="http://www.codecademy.com/tracks/javascript" rel="external">The JavaScript course on codecademy.com</a></li>
 <li><a href="http://ejohn.org/apps/learn/" rel="external">John Resig's Learning Advanced JavaScript</a></li>
</ul>
<h3 id="Technical_reference">Technical reference</h3>
<ul>
 <li><a href="http://www.ecma-international.org/publications/standards/Ecma-262.htm" rel="external">The latest ECMAScript standard</a></li>
 <li><a href="/en-US/docs/Web/JavaScript/Reference">The JavaScript reference on MDN</a></li>
 <li><a href="http://eloquentjavascript.net/" rel="external">The <em>Eloquent JavaScript</em> book</a></li>
</ul>
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