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An introduction to JavaScript

JavaScript often abbreviated as JS, is a programming language that is one of the core technologies of the world wide web (WWW), long side HTML and CSS. Over 97% of the websites are using JavaScript for client-side scripting. All major browsers have a dedicated JavaScript engine to execute code on the user's device.

Table of contents

JavaScript is a powerful programming language that can add interactivity to a website. It was invented by Brendan Eich (co-founder of the Mozilla project, the Mozilla Foundation, and the Mozilla Corporation).

JavaScript is versatile and beginner-friendly. With more experience, you'll be able to create games, animated 2D and 3D graphics, comprehensive database-driven apps, and much more!

JavaScript itself is relatively compact, yet very flexible. Developers have written a variety of tools on top of the core JavaScript language, unlocking a vast amount of functionality with minimum effort. These include:

  • Browser Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) built into web browsers, providing functionality such as dynamically creating HTML and setting CSS styles; collecting and manipulating a video stream from a user's webcam, or generating 3D graphics and audio samples.

  • Third-party APIs that allow developers to incorporate functionality in sites from other content providers, such as Twitter or Facebook.

  • Third-party frameworks and libraries that you can apply to HTML to accelerate the work of building sites and applications.

Features of JavaScript

JavaScript on Server

Originally JavaScript was only used on the client/browser side for adding interactivity to the sites. In 2009, NodeJs was created. NodeJs is run time environment, which can execute JavaScript on the server.

Because of NodeJs event-driven non-blocking model, it becomes very popular among companies.

You can see a list of some applications that are using NodeJs here.

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 becomes a fully independent language with its own specifications.

Read complete history JavaScript

What can JavaScript do in Browser?

As you know, JavaScript was created for manipulating the web page on the client side.

  • Add RAW HTML in the browser

  • Manipulate the page content

  • Fetch/send data from another network

  • User actions like, click, scroll, etc

  • etc

ECMAScript vs JavaScript vs ECMA-262

ECMAScript vs JavaScript

Ecma International is an industry association dedicated to the standardization of information and communication systems - https://www.ecma-international.org

ECMA International is an organization that creates standards for technologies.

  • ECMA-262 - This is the standard published by ECMA that contains specifications for a general-purpose scripting language.

  • ECMAScript - The specifications defined in ECMA-262 is called ECMAScript.

  • JavaScript - It is a scripting language that conforms to ECMAScript specifications.

You can also see original ECMAScript

Top websites that are using JavaScript

Before server-side JavaScript, almost every website were using JavaScript on the client-side. Now, because of server-side JavaScript, the exact number can not be found. Below is the list of top companies that are using JavaScript.

Screenshot from 2022-02-13 16-21-04

Top JavaScript libraries and frameworks

Untitled Diagram drawio

What can you do with JavaScript?

Finally, let's see what we can do with JavaScript.

1.In a website

Yes, we can create a website in JavaScript. We can add interactivity to the websites using JavaScript. We can manipulate the DOM of the page, etc.

2. Server Side

Yes, now we can run JavaScript on servers and other runtime environments outside of the browser.

We can create a server, create a crawler for sites, generate Static content from DB, etc.

Software EngineeringJavaScriptHTMLCSS

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