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Introduction to JavaScript

JavaScript is an online scripting language that is implemented and works directly with HTML pages. Similar to Flash and ActionScript, JavaScript brings a dynamic nature to web pages that does not require the page to change. Obviously, this functionality is very useful for a wide variety of reasons. JavaScript can make a developer’s life a lot easier in a lot of ways. On the other hand, the various down sides of implementing JavaScript are significant—sometimes too much so.

  1. Introduction to JavaScript
  2. Relation to Java
  3. Real-time Nature
  4. Application
By: Joe eitel
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July 08, 2009

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Any time that a developer would like to change the content of a web page without actually changing the page, JavaScript is a natural option. Flash and ActionScript is basically the only other option. A developer may decide to use JavaScript for a variety of reasons, many of which include the various down sides of Flash development. However, one of the main reasons for a developer’s choice might be that they are not familiar with Flash. JavaScript is much easier to learn for individuals that are not as creatively inclined.

Because JavaScript is integrated directly into the web page, there is not as much issue with file size or compatibility as there is with Flash. JavaScript does not take long to load and does not typically place any undue burden on the computer. JavaScript also makes everything a little cleaner, since you are not dealing with multiple files or confusing embed code. JavaScript has the added bonus of not affecting the ability of search engines to index all of the information on a web page (like Flash does).

Unfortunately, JavaScript developers are deeply impacted by the growing number of people that disable JavaScript code in their browsers. Some people find JavaScript to be annoying and would rather deal with a static page than with a changing one. Other people are worried about certain security issues that JavaScript has. Whatever the reasons, it means that it is no longer considered good development practice to create a website that relies upon JavaScript. While it can be included for a cool effect or extra functionality, the core website should be able to operate entirely without JavaScript.

Of course, there are certain applications that call for JavaScript and others that call for Flash/ActionScript. An experienced developer can identify those specific applications and take care of them accordingly. For any applications that can be implemented by either, it is generally just a matter of personal preference.

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