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1.1. What JavaScript Is

JavaScript is a popular general-purpose scripting language used to put energy and pizzaz into otherwise dead Web pages by allowing a static page to interact with users and respond to events that occur on the page. JavaScript has been described as the glue that holds Web pages together.[1] It would be a hard task to find a commercial Web page, or almost any Web page, that does not contain some JavaScript code (see Figure 1.1).

[1] But the creator of JavaScript, Brendan Eich, says it's even more! In his article, “Innovators of the Net: Brendan Eich and JavaScript,” he says, “Calling JavaScript 'the glue that holds web pages together' is short and easy to use, but doesn't do justice to what's going on. Glue sets and hardens, but JavaScript is more dynamic than glue. It can create a reaction and make things keep going, like a catalyst.”

Figure 1.1. A dynamic Web page using JavaScript to give it life. For example, if the user rolls his mouse over any of the links or items in the navigation bars, those items will change color.



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