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Home site: http://w3c.org
The JavaScript language was developed by the Netscape Communications Corporation and is a registered trademarked name. It is a cross-platform, object-based scripting language that was originally designed for use in Netscape Navigator. Indeed, versions 2.0, and later, of Navigator can interpret JavaScript statements that are embedded within HTML code. When a request is made to see a page, the HTML code that defines the requested page along with the embedded JavaScript statements, are sent by the server to the client. Navigator interprets the HTML document and executes the JavaScript code. The resultant page is displayed for the client. It is important to understand that this interpretation occurs on the client-side rather than the server-side.

JavaScript is the name of Netscape Communications Corporation's implementation of the ECMAScript standard, a scripting language based on the concept of prototype-based programming. The language is best known for its use in websites (as client-side JavaScript), but is also used to enable scripting access to objects embedded in other applications.

Despite the name, JavaScript is not related to the Java programming language, the main similarity being their common debt to the C syntax. Semantically, JavaScript has far more in common with the Self programming language.

JavaScript is a registered trademark of Sun Microsystems, Inc. It was used under license for technology invented and implemented by Netscape Communications and current entities such as the Mozilla Foundation.

The latest versions of JavaScript and JScript are compliant with the European Computer Manufacturing Association's ECMAScript Language Specification (ECMA-262 standard, for short). Note that the name for this ECMA-262 language is ECMAScript. However, Netscape will continue to use the name, JavaScript and, likewise, Microsoft will continue to use the name, JScript. It is important to understand that the ECMA-262 standards sets minimum compatibility requirements. You should expect current and future versions of both JavaScript and JScript to also contain additional proprietary features, beyond the minimum requirements, designed to woo the developer to favor one language over the other. Fortunately, both Microsoft and Netscape have promised to submit new features to ECMA for inclusion in the evolving ECMA-262 standard. Many older browsers are, of course, still very happily utilizing older, non-compliant versions of these scripting languages.

JavaScript is a simple to comprehend, easy to use, general purpose scripting language. When used in conjunction with a Web browser's Document Object Model (DOM), it can produce powerful dynamic HTML browser-based applications which also can feature animation and sound.


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