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29 May, 2015 - 11:24

HTML gives you a certain degree of interactivity through hyperlinks. JavaScript takes this interactivity a whole lot further by making things happen as a result of your actions.

JavaScript is a lightweight programming language that is used to write the code that makes all this happen. Along with displaying a webpage, the browser is also responsible for interpreting and executing the JavaScript code that is included on it.

The video below shows how JavaScript integrates with a webpage.

JavaScript was created by Netscape and Sun Microsystems at the height of the browser wars in the mid-1990s. Microsoft quickly followed suit by introducing its own flavour of JavaScript, called Jscript, which only worked in Internet Explorer.

JavaScript and JScript

JavaScript and JScript were roughly compatible but were not interoperable. This meant that a developer might have to write two versions of a script so that the same action could be seen on both browsers. This led to a lot of extra work and frustration for developers, as you can imagine!

Netscape eventually submitted the JavaScript specification to ECMA International for standardization. ECMAScript is the name of the standardized scripting language derived from JavaScript and Jscript.

You won’t need to learn how to write JavaScript in this module, but to modify and adapt existing JavaScript code (which can be downloaded from several sites on the Web) for your own use, with due respect to copyright, of course.