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Part: I Getting Started > Understanding JavaScript

Hour 1. Understanding JavaScript

The World Wide Web (WWW) began as a text-only medium—the first version of the HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) specification didn't even have the capability to include graphics on a page. Although it's still not quite ready to give television a run for its money, the Web has come a long way.

Today's Web sites can include a wealth of features: graphics, sounds, animation, video, and sometimes even useful content. Web scripting languages, such as JavaScript, are one of the easiest ways to spice up a Web page and to interact with users in new ways.

The first hour of this book introduces the concept of Web scripting and the JavaScript language. It also describes how JavaScript, Java, and other Web languages fit into the scheme of things. The following topics will be covered in this hour:

  • What Web scripting is, and what it's good for

  • How scripting and programming are different (and similar)

  • What JavaScript is

  • How to include JavaScript commands in a Web page

  • How different Web browsers handle JavaScript

  • Choosing between JavaScript and alternative languages


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