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Chapter 24. Client-side Scripting > A History of Browser Scripting

A History of Browser Scripting

Early Web sites consisted of many of the same Web page elements we use today; forms, images, hyperlinks, and static text. They also consisted of small applications called applets that ran inside of the Web page and were written in a new programming language called Java. Netscape Communications had just added Java support to its flagship product, Netscape Navigator. However, Netscape was painfully aware that many Web site developers were not Java developers, so it needed to find a way to allow non-Java developers to interact with Java applets on Web pages. It did so with the introduction of LiveScript, a technology that was renamed JavaScript by the time it made it into Netscape Navigator 2.0. The year was 1995.

Web developers were quick to embrace JavaScript, but it was not used the way Netscape intended. It was mainly being used to provide programmatic access to page content such as forms, images, and text, not to script Java applets. In fact, the most common use for JavaScript at the time is still one of its most common uses today—image swapping. Mouse rollovers were starting to appear all over the Internet.


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