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The Power of Javascript: An Introduction

Javascript is a powerful language for Web designers to know, but there are some misconceptions about what it is and what it can do. This first article in a series covering Javascript from the basics to more advanced applications will explain what it is, what it is not, and give you a small taste of what it can do.

Author Info:
By: Michael Youssef
Rating: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars / 13
June 28, 2005
  1. · The Power of Javascript: An Introduction
  2. · Meet Javascript
  3. · The Hello World Example
  4. · Hello World? What's going on?

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The Power of Javascript: An Introduction
(Page 1 of 4 )

You are reading this series because you are probably a Web designer who would like to learn Javascript in order to bring your Web pages to life. "Learn Javascript" is a series of articles that will take you from basic Javascript programming to writing complex interactive cross-browser Web pages in simple English, without assuming that you have been working with any other programming languages before. I assume that you have a good knowledge of HTML (or XHTML) and a basic understanding of CSS. (If you don't know CSS, you might consider my series "Learn CSS," which you can also find on this site). I also assume that you know the W3C (the World Wide Web Consortium).

That is all you should need to know to read and understand this series. Unlike other tutorials, which assume that you have a prior working knowledge of programming, I will begin with you by explaining what a programming language is, until you grasp the fundamentals of programming. You can consider this an advantage when you are ready to learn some other programming languages such as C, Perl, Java and even C#.

Let's take a look at what you are going to learn in this series.

After a brief introduction that covers programming and the Javascript language, you will learn about the very basics of Javascript, such as variables, identifiers, keywords, statements, data types, literals and values, operators, expressions and so on -- all in simple English with a minimum amount of technical expressions, because I know you will not like the jargon in the beginning. Then we will discuss how you can control the execution of your Javascript code using the if/else, switch, the for loop, and the while and do while loops.

At that point, you will have a good understanding of what we are talking about. After that, we will move to Javascript functions; then we will discuss objects, then Arrays. After that, it will be a good time to learn about some of the built-in Objects that Javascript offers.

We will discuss text manipulation in Javascript, and how to manipulate the Windows and Frames. You will learn how to validate users' data and handle HTML forms. We will talk about error handling and debugging, and browsers' implementation of the Document Object Model and Dynamic HTML or DHTML (don't worry if you don't know what this means yet). Our most important discussion, as you will see, will be the browsers' compatibility issues and how to write code that can run on most browsers. You will also learn how to manipulate cookies and retrieve users' data by using them. We will discuss how to use XML with Javascript. We will discuss other topics in the series, too, so don't worry; you are going to master Javascript.

Now, let's meet Javascript.

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