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What Is JavaScript?

JavaScript is a scripting language that’s similar to AppleScript, Visual Basic Scripting (VBScript), and languages such as Unix’s shell scripting languages. Although JavaScript is similar in on the surface in some ways to full-fledged programming languages, such as C, C++, and Java, it doesn’t require you to worry as much about the program’s underlying structure. It’s a bit limited in that way, but still very useful.

JavaScript was specifically designed by Netscape to work together with HTML (and XHTML) to create more dynamic Web pages. Netscape and Internet Explorer browsers tend to support JavaScript from the 3.0 level on up, while other browsers have spotty support for JavaScript—some are better than others. In most cases, you can’t rely on your user to have JavaScript capabilities, so it’s important to design your pages to support all possible users. We’ll discuss that throughout this section.


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