JavaScript Basics

JavaScript is basically a programming language that works with HTML. It is a scripting language that is used to create different special effects on standard Web pages. If you were to design a basic Web page, you would use JavaScript to make the page dynamic and interactive for the viewers.

Some examples of JavaScript in action are image rollovers, form input validations and it even helps open popup windows. (Unfortunately, JavaScript is not used for everything good!) If you are interested in using JavaScript, you must know how to work with HTML and know how to edit HTML documents. You also must have a Web browser that will support your JavaScript creations.

In HTML documents, JavaScripts are shown with beginning tags of <SCRIPT> and ending tags of </SCRIPT>. Like I mentioned earlier, if you don’t know a whole lot about HTML, this may be a little confusing to you.

So, if you are one of the non-Web page creators, you can just look for JavaScript on the different sites you visit. For example, on WorldStart’s site, we use JavaScript at the top of every page. If you go to our homepage and roll your mouse over the tabs we have (Home, Software Store, Computer Tips, etc.), you will see them light up from white to light blue. That is JavaScript in action.

Another example is if you go to a site and you see a picture moving. (Maybe you’ve gotten that e-mail where the dog winks at you). All of that is JavaScript as well. It’s all around us on the Web and it’s really cool if you think about it. Now, go out and start looking for JavaScript! You might be surprised at how much you find! : )

~ Erin

P.S. – In case you were wondering, JavaScript is a little different than Java. Java is also used with Web sites, but it has more to do with programming classes than functions.