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What is JavaScript?

JavaScript is an object-based, event-driven, scripting language used on the Web. Javascript code is included with the HTML in Web pages and is executed by the browser.

This tutorial will present several examples that illustrate different parts of that definition, but let's elaborate on it a little now.

  • object-based: This means that JavaScript accomplished its tasks by using objects (things like windows, forms, documents) methods and properties. We will discuss objects methods and properties in more detail a bit later.

  • event-driven: Event-driven means that Javascript commands an functions are usually executed in response to events that occur in a Web rowser. For example when you load a page or click a button an event occurs and JavaScript statements can be executed in response to that event.

JavaScript is Not Java

Because of their similar names and the fact that they are both frequently used in conjunction with the Web, people often confuse Java and JavaScript. JavaScript is not NOT Java. JavaScript is NOT Java lite. They are 2 totally different languages. Java requires a compiler and can run on many different platforms. JavaScript statements are embedded in Web pages, and execute on the client.


  Updated 2005 March 22
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