Beginner’s Guide To JavaScript Essentials – Part 1: Introduction

By May 12, 2015 Blog No Comments
Beginner's Guide To JavaScript Essentials - Part 1: Intro...

Today we’re kicking off an in-depth guide to JavaScript essentials for beginners in order to provide you with everything you need to start programming. JavaScript is essentially a cross-platform, lightweight, dynamic, object-oriented programming language you absolutely have to learn if you’re interested in front-end development. Whether you have no coding experience, or you’re coming from another programming language, we’ll start at the very beginning and cover everything a beginner needs to know to start using JavaScript.

Short Overview Of JavaScript History

Despite the similar names, JavaScript has nothing to do with Java. JavaScript was first developed under the name Mocha in 1995 by Brendan Eich, a developer working for Netscape, but it was renamed when it was deployed with version 2.0B3 of the Netscape browser. It started out as a simple programming language to add a few interactive features to websites, but it was generally seen as gimmicky and unstable.

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However, people started taking JavaScript more seriously around 2000, and today it’s one of the most powerful languages being used on pretty much every website, from animating website elements and performing calculations, to building interactive games and full-blown desktop and web apps like Google Docs.

Getting Started With JavaScript Essentials: Requirements

Everything you need in order to get started with JavaScript is any of the modern Internet browsers, be it Mozilla’s Firefox, Google Chrome, or even Internet Explorer. Most modern browsers come with Console, a neat little feature majority of developers use to log diagnostic information and debug JavaScript. For example, if you’re using Google Chrome, you can access the console by pressing Control + Shift + J on Windows computers, or Command + Option + J on Macs.

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Including JavaScript In HTML

Keep in mind that, while it is possible to include JavaScript in HTML documents, using external files for JavaScript is a much better idea, since JavaScript and CSS files are cached by the browser, which can considerably improve the performance and speed, as well as usability. Including the link for the JavaScript file is pretty straightforward. In order to link your HTML file to the JavaScript file, you’ll need to add only one line of code. It’s best to do it right before the closing body tag so the browser has enough time to load the entire HTML code:

< script src="scripts/main.js" >< /script >

In the following parts of our guide to JavaScript essentials we’ll cover the basics of the JavaScript syntax and language features and show you how to program your very own script, write comments, and use the console alerts to debug your script. Stay tuned!

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