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JavaScript Authoring Info

JavaScript is an easy way to make a website visually attractive to clients and other viewers by adding interactivity and dynamics to HTML pages. This page explains why one would use JavaScript in their website designs. It also has links to JavaScript conventions, tools and samples for those who prefer ready-to-run effects. And finally for those who prefer to roll their own there are my programming notes, introductory tutorials, small projects, larger projects and form projects pages.

Why Use JavaScript

Why should a webpage author use JavaScript in addition to HTML?

Javascript adds user interactivity
Javascript enhances visual displays
JavaScript allows many page effects
Javascript allows client-side user form validation
Javascript provides seamless integration with user plug-ins
Javascript allows access to some system information

Here are just a few of the many effects that can be added to your webpage:

Here are some examples of useful applications:

Programming Notes

JavaScript is a scripted language which is object-based, event-driven, and platform independent. These modern concepts in programming methodology are much easier to work with in 'new' languages rather than being bolted on to older ones. And the syntax is similar to that of C and Java. This makes JavaScript a 'good' choice for a first programming language.

What other reasons are there for learning to program in JavaScript:

I have prepared a series of introductory tutorials on JavaScript programming.

Conventions, Tools and Samples

Javascript code should always be written to the ECMA-262 language standard. Writing code using standard conventions helps avoid many common programming issues. One of the best ways to check your work is to use jsLint. Just cut and paste your script into the input box and press the jsLint button. Either you will get an 'ok' message or an easy to interpret message including a line number for any problem. Code that checks out ok with jsLint will be less likely to be quirky in any of the modern browsers.

Every programmer builds his own personal toolbox of utilities. For JavaScript this toolbox must include current versions of the main browsers. The editor of choice is TextPad which can be customized with macros as well as browser viewing without leaving the editor. Some useful tools are:

Why create code if someone else already has done it? The following sites may already have the functions you want and probably many more that you didn't even think about. Spend some quality time trolling for ideas.

Cautionary Notes

Language Implementation Issues

Although JavaScript is easy to understand and to write, there are several reasons rigorous testing is required.

WARNING: Programmers must Test! Test! Test! every JavaScript application on several browsers to make sure expectations are met.

Language Design Issues

Because JavaScript uses a high-end approach to security (leaving lapses in the domain of the browser) there are some applications that it is not appropriate for:

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