What Is JavaScript?

By: Dusty Arlia
Published on June 26, 2012
Last Updated on Saturday, July 18, 2015 at 6:13 PM
Total Updates: 11

JavaScript is a programming language that allows websites and web applications to be interactive and dynamic. JavaScript compliments HTML and CSS to make your websites more complete. It has no relation to the Java programming language, though the original goal for JavaScript was to be a simplified version of Java. JavaScript code is referred to as a JavaScript program or simply a script and is considered to be a client-side programming language.

JavaScript is defined in the ECMA-262 specification, but each browser interprets this specification differently (just like in HTML and CSS). This is why you will notice differences between browsers. As browsers release new versions, this problem becomes less noticeable. In the past, Internet Explorer was not following these standards closely and was losing market share because of it. It became clear that it was beneficial for the browser vendors to implement the web standards as closely as possible.

Some of the things that you can build with this scripting language include better forms, photo galleries, navigation menus, custom tooltips, and more. JavaScript gives your content and CSS functionality and customized behaviors. Websites can be built without JavaScript, but in order to make your website more responsive, JavaScript programs are really important. Incorporate JavaScript into your webpage by either including the JavaScript code directly into the page using the <script> HTML tag or link to an external JavaScript file using the <script> tag with the src attribute pointing to the .js file.

JavaScript was first built to enhance the web-browsing experience, but it's grown well beyond the browser to become an important programming language in Microsoft Windows 8. Today, JavaScript plays a key role in modern application development.