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What is Modern JavaScript and How to Use it?

  • Rating — 4.8 (91 voices)
  • by Elena
  • Updated on February 08, 2018
  • Read —
    4-5 minutes
What is Modern JavaScript and How to Use it?

So, you are going to develop a web project but you barely understand the basics of programming languages or technologies your dev teams have proposed. Don’t fall into despair, you are not alone in this journey! 

We decided to explain JavaScript here, in this blogpost, in order to make you feel more confident and get a clear picture of what you’re about to order.

Let’s get started!

  1. What is JavaScript?
  2. What you can make with JavaScript
  3. What you can not make with JavaScript
  4. Why is JavaScript unique?
  5. JavaScript tendencies

What is JavaScript?

We are not going to mess your mind with the “Wikipedia-like” explanations of programming. Moreover, it might be obvious that JavaScript is a programming language, isn’t it?

But what is it made for?

JavaScript is used for making web-pages “alive” and interactive. Programs, written with JavaScript are called scripts. Since scripts are directly connected to HTML, they are immediately executed as soon as the page is loaded in your browser. Truth be told, scripts are the plain text. That means they don’t need any additional or preliminary development. And this feature is what differs JavaScript from Java programming language.

Why is it called JavaScript, you may ask. At the very beginning, it had an alternative name – LiveScript. But at that time, Java was very popular as a programming language and marketers decided to create the similar naming in order to attract more users. Planned to be a part of Java, JS was growing rapidly and now became an independent programming language with its own ECMAScript specification.

When it comes to front-end development, we in GBKSOFT use JavaScript language, Node.js environment and AngularJS framework. The last two are frameworks that are written by using JavaScrip language.

how to use javascript for interface

What you can make with JavaScript

Modern JavaScript is a safe and secure programming language. Partly because it does not provide low-level tools and does not have access to low-level resources like working with memory or processor. In fact, JS was initially focused on browsers and interaction within browsers only. And the browser space is separated from OS, that’s why JavaScript is playing on the safe side.

However, over the time developers started to apply JavaScript outside of the browser space. That’s why the possibilities of JavaScript now depend only on the environment where it’s running. When it’s running in the browser, JavaScript is able to proceed anything related to web page manipulations, users’ interactions and interactions with the server (to some extent).

  • Create new HTML tags, delete existing ones, change elements style, show or hide elements etc.
  • React on users activity such as mouse movements and clicks, typing on a keyboard etc.
  • Send request to the server and download data without reloading the page (AJAX technology).
  • Receive and set up cookies, request data, display messages etc.
  • Lots of other features and possibilities.

What you can not make with JavaScript

Though JavaScript is fast and powerful, it’s still limited by the browser’s performance. But don’t judge it, as the purpose of these restrictions is users safety. They keep hackers away from getting personal data and harming users’ computer. These restrictions are absent anywhere beyond the browser, for example, on the server. Moreover, modern browsers allow to install plugins and extensions but still require users actions and permission to get installed.

possibilities of javascript

  • Since JavaScript does not have an access to the operating system, it can not read, record or copy arbitrary files or run any software. Modern browsers can work with files but exclusively with the limited access and only if the user drops files manually right to the browser window or select them via an <input> tag.
  • When working in a certain tab JavaScript can not interact with other tabs unless the user explicitly allowed it. Nevertheless, it’s only possible when they have one domain, protocol and port.

Why is JavaScript unique?

There are at least three main advantages of JavaScript, which are:

  • JavaScript is fully integrated with both HTML and CSS.
  • Simple things are easy to implement using JavaScript.
  • This language is supported by all modern browsers and is included by default.

By the way, JavaScript is the only language that supports these three features all at once, which makes JS the most frequently used technology for browser interface development.

JavaScript tendencies

Now, let’s proceed to the final stage in our JavaScript 101: we’ll learn the tendencies.

HTML5

HTML5 is the new version of well-known HTML, it supports new tags and browser features such as:

  • Reading and recording files on the disk.
  • Built-in browser database allowing to store data directly on the user’s computer.
  • Multitasking and simultaneous use of multiple processor cores.
  • Video and audio playing without Flash.
  • 2D and 3D drawing with hardware support ( for example in modern games).

Though many of HTML5 features are still developing, modern browsers start to support them over time.

In other words, JavaScript becomes more powerful and everything moves towards desktop applications.  

ECMAScript 5

In order to stay innovative and up to date, JavaScript along with ECMAScript, are constantly enhance by adding new features and possibilities. For example, the new ECMAScript 6 will be a step further to upgrade the language syntax. But the crucial thing when implementing new standards is to keep the maximum compatibility with previous versions to avoid mistakes with the existing ones.

Hence, JavaScript gains preformance and stability while new features are added. At the same time, it tends to be fully compatible with older standards.

Conclusion

JavaScript is a unique technology for front-end development. Using this language, programmers can create websites that will be working perfectly in all modern browsers and provide users with the seamless experience.

Elena is the business analyst passionate about everything connected with startups, business ideas, and analytics. She’s aiming to find the solution for every challenge, young companies meet on their way.


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