JavaScript is a simple programming language with which web developers can write a script and create websites that are interactive. It was developed by Netscape but is now used by most web browsers. Since it is able to interact with HTML, it allows web developers to add dynamic elements within the web sites. It is an open source programming language, and anyone can use it without buying a license for use.

Java and JavaScript

A lot of people confuse between Java and JavaScript. They may have similar names, but this is where the similarity ends.

  • Java is a complex and powerful programming language while JavaScript is a scripting language which is very light weight.
  • Java needs programming language interpreters to convert it to machine language which can be understood by a computer system. JavaScript needs only the browser engine to be interpreted while loading a webpage.
  • Java was developed by Sun Microsystems as a full-fledged computer language at par with C and C++. JavaScript was, on the other hand, developed by Netscape to provide a tool to web developers to create more interactive websites.
  • Both are OOP based, but while JavaScript is a script language, Java is an OOP based programming language.
  • While program written in Java behave exactly the same across different systems, the same is not true for JavaScript. A web page that is designed with JavaScript behaves differently in different web browsers.
  • JavaScript needs a client to run. The client is the browser. As a browser user, you can decide to disable JavaScript and then it will not work in your browser. Java needs no client. It creates applications that run on a virtual machine or a browser.
  • Java codes need compilation; JavaScript code can be written in a text editor.
  • The plugin requirements of the two are different.

Requirements to Run JavaScript

All you need is a browser that has inbuilt JavaScript support to run JavaScript-based elements. The good news is that all browsers now have inbuilt JavaScript support, and they all come with JavaScript enabled as default.

Writing JavaScript scripts

If you want to learn JavaScript and create your elements or programs, then you will need one or more browsers and a web editor. The web editor will enable you to edit your webpages and integrate JavaScript with HTML. You will also have to learn to paste the code to web pages. After you have pasted the code, you need to test that the element works on the page as intended, for this you require a web browser. It is best to use more than one browser so you can see how the final page displays on different browsers and tweak your script if needed.

Uses of JavaScript

It is used to convert static webpages that are created by using HTML and CSS into interactive ones. Its uses are:

  • Create Web Pages that are responsive and interactive.
  • Recognize the browsers that are being used by your visitor.
  • Add text to an HTML page quickly and easily.
  • Create cookies
  • Validate forms as you are typing in the information.
  • Create and add animation
  • Use features like Canvas that allows you to draw on the webpage itself
  • Integrate services like Facebook and Twitter to the website.
  • Allows a user to load new images, objects or elements without needing to load the whole web page again.
  • Improve visitor’s experience to a web page.

You do not have to know JavaScript to use it in your web page. There are free scripts available on the net that you can use to make your website more user-friendly and interactive.