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JavaScript is a script language and has no links to the programming language Java. In the beginning it was called LiveScript but when the Java hype started the name was changed to JavaScript, Microsoft calls it JScript. The correct name would be ECMA-script as the European Computer Manufacturers Association now is in charge of the standard. You can download the JavaScript specification (called ECMA-262) here. (PDF format)

JavaScript is a scripting language that you use to communicate with browsers and other applications, so it's actually more of an interface than a programming language.

As with everything else in the web industry progress is rapid. One of the main things to think about when you write scripts is to make sure that they are compatible with the browsers you are targeting.

Here are a few examples of what you can do with JS:

  • Change the look of the page, colors, fonts, switch images, etc.
  • Validate and calculate forms.
  • Animate things.
  • Adjust the page to fit the users browser, resolution, platform, etc.

My personal view is that everything is possible until proven impossible! :-)

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