What Is JavaScript

This section provides a quick description of what is JavaScript.

What is JavaScript? JavaScript is a scripting language mainly used for writing dynamic Web pages. When a script written in JavaScript is embedded in a Web page, it will be executed by the Web browser on the client machine.

The history of JavaScript is nicely summarized on wikipedia.org as:

JavaScript was originally developed by Brendan Eich of Netscape under the name Mocha, later LiveScript, and finally renamed to JavaScript. The change of name from LiveScript to JavaScript roughly coincided with Netscape adding support for Java technology in its Netscape Navigator web browser. JavaScript was first introduced and deployed in the Netscape browser version 2.0B3 in December of 1995. The naming has caused confusion, giving the impression that the language is a spinoff of Java and has been characterized by many as a marketing ploy by Netscape to give JavaScript the cachet of what was then the hot new web-programming language.

To avoid trademark issues, Microsoft named its implementation of the language JScript. JScript was first supported in Internet Explorer version 3.0, released in August 1996 and included Y2K compliant date functions, unlike those based on java.util.Date in JavaScript at the time.

Netscape submitted JavaScript to ECMA International for standardization resulting in the standardized version named ECMAScript.

JavaScript versions and release dates:

JavaScript 1.8.5 July 2010 - ECMA-262 5th edition
JavaScript 1.8   June 2008
JavaScript 1.7   October 2006
JavaScript 1.6   November 2005
JavaScript 1.5   November 2000 - ECMA-262 3rd edition
JavaScript 1.4	 
JavaScript 1.3	 October 1998 - ECMA-262 1st + 2nd 
JavaScript 1.2	 June 1997
JavaScript 1.1	 August 1996
JavaScript 1.0   March 1996

As a programming language, JavaScript has the following unique features:

As of 2020, the latest version of the JavaScript is 1.8.5.

Table of Contents

 About This Book

Introduction to JavaScript

What Is JavaScript

 First JavaScript - "Hello World!"

 Walking through the First JavaScript

 The document.write() Method

 ECMAScript Language Specification and JavaScript Dialects

 Data Types, Variables and Expressions

 Flow Control Statements

 Creating, Accessing, and Manipulating Arrays

 Defining and Calling Functions

 Web Browser Supporting JavaScript

 Server-Side and Client-Side Web Scripting

 Introduction to Objects

 Defining Your Own Object Types

 Inheritance of Properties and Methods through the Prototype Object Chain

 'jrunscript' - JavaScript Shell Command from JDK

 Using Functions as "Function" Objects

 Introduction to Built-in Object Types

 W3C's Document Object Model (DOM) Specifications

 AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript And XML)


 Full Version in PDF/EPUB