What is JavaScript ? Definition of JavaScript

What is JavaScript ?

JavaScript was initially created to “make web pages alive”.

The programs in this language are called scripts. They can be written right in a web page’s HTML and run automatically as the page loads.

Scripts are provided and executed as plain text. They don’t need special preparation or compilation to run.

In this aspect, JavaScript is very different from another language called Java.

Why is it called JavaScript?

When JavaScript was created, it initially had another name: “LiveScript”. But Java was very popular at that time, so it was decided that positioning a new language as a “younger brother” of Java would help.

But as it evolved, JavaScript became a fully independent language with its own specification called ECMAScript, and now it has no relation to Java at all.

A high-level definition of Javascript

JavaScript is a scripting or programming language that allows you to implement complex features on web pages.

Every time a web page does more than just sit there and display static information for you to

  • look at displaying timely content updates,
  • interactive maps,
  • animated 2D/3D graphics,
  • scrolling video jukeboxes, etc.

you can bet that JavaScript is probably involved. It is the third layer of the layer cake of standard web technologies, two of which (HTML and CSS) we have covered in much more detail in other parts of the Learning Area.

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