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Why JavaScript has been popular among Web Developers

It was the year 1995 when Netscape first introduced JavaScript as a simple client-side scripting language for web browsers. At that time many users and developers disliked JavaScript because they were able to point out many design errors in the programming language. Users refrained from using web browsers which had JavaScript code enabled in it.     “JavaScript is a language with more than its share of bad parts” - Douglas Crockford Now it’s been eighteen years since JavaScript made its first appearance. Today the situation is the total opposite because JavaScript has now become an integral part of almost all the modern web browsers. This shows the importance of JavaScript in web page development. Initially, JavaScript was named as LiveScript, with the release of Netscape Navigator 2.0 Beta 3, later the name JavaScript was adopted because of the use of Java technology in it. Over the years, JavaScript has grown to become powerful, dynamic, and fully-functional object-oriented language, equivalent to the languages like C++, Ruby, or Java. Companies are now using JavaScript for all their front-end stuff regardless of the back-end technology (Ruby, C#, Python, etc). Gmail and Google Maps are examples of applications that are programmed in JavaScript. Also Read: JavaScript Tutorial for Beginners A web developer is considered as incomplete without the knowledge of JavaScript. Let’s discuss why JavaScript is so popular in web development. Makes static web pages more dynamic JavaScript makes a static HTML page interactive and dynamic. It allows developers to create special effects on a web page like rollover, rollout, and many types of graphics that would enhance the user experience of the web page. Generally, websites use JavaScript for validation purpose. A contact form or registration page where a user fills the information and the page validates the data filled by using JavaScript and another server-side scripting language. JavaScript usage is not only limited to the web pages, it also supports PDF documents, running widgets, flash applications, etc. Extended use in Web Technologies Since its inception, JavaScript has been evolving steadily. JavaScript is now being used in the development of other frameworks and virtual machines. With the increased popularity of JavaScript in web development arena, there has not been a single web technology which is not using JavaScript. AJAX and Jquery are two of the most prominent examples of JavaScript. AJAX is Asynchronous JavaScript and XML in which JavaScript plays an important role. Jquery is a free and open source JavaScript library that web developers use to navigate HTML documents, adding animations and several dynamic features to the web pages. These two web technologies are among trends of dynamic website design and development JavaScript enhances the visual appearance of a website A website should have proper design and navigation. These are some of the basic jobs of JavaScript which it does with perfection. Visual effects within a website can be done with JavaScript. For an interior design website, visitors create an impression of images or photographs arranged in the website. For such kind of websites, JavaScript can be used to create effects like rollover for images. JavaScript allows users to do animations and special effects, which could be difficult to achieve with minimal coding. JavaScript animation frameworks that allow users to develop animations easily: Processing.js Script.aculo.us Pixastic Canvas 3D JS Library Event-based programming JavaScript is an event-based programming and it functions on the basis of so-called events which are fired every time something happens. When a certain event occurs, it results in the execution of different code segments. When an event is fired from a certain portion of the code, other sections in the code will listen to the event and respond with the necessary actions to take when that event happens. For instance, if a user has pressed any button, then the event could be “user pressed this button”. The contents of a website are meant to be interactive with mouse, keyboard, and fingers. Events in JavaScript makes a website more interactive. JavaScript is fast Speed is one of the important factors which has made JavaScript popular among the web developers. JS codes are always rendered on the user’s end and it makes the efficient execution of codes.  The results and processing of JavaScript codes are completely dependent on the size of the task. JavaScript reduces the amount of load on the servers which are extremely important for heavily trafficked websites. The code functions can be run instead of contacting the server and then wait for the server to respond. Codes can be reused JavaScript codes can be reused for the implementations in both the front and back-end codes of the websites. Reusing the parts of the code ( sharing libraries, templates, and models) will reduce the time for a developer to implement any logic. JavaScript has certainly been the backbone of modern websites and web applications. It is considered as one of the most misunderstood language because of its name. To get a clear and concise conceptual introduction to JavaScript, consider having a look into the  JavaScript course.
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Why JavaScript has been popular among Web Developers

Geneva Clark
Blog
21st Jun, 2017
Why JavaScript has been popular among Web Developers

It was the year 1995 when Netscape first introduced JavaScript as a simple client-side scripting language for web browsers. At that time many users and developers disliked JavaScript because they were able to point out many design errors in the programming language. Users refrained from using web browsers which had JavaScript code enabled in it.    

“JavaScript is a language with more than its share of bad parts” - Douglas Crockford

Now it’s been eighteen years since JavaScript made its first appearance. Today the situation is the total opposite because JavaScript has now become an integral part of almost all the modern web browsers. This shows the importance of JavaScript in web page development. Initially, JavaScript was named as LiveScript, with the release of Netscape Navigator 2.0 Beta 3, later the name JavaScript was adopted because of the use of Java technology in it.

Over the years, JavaScript has grown to become powerful, dynamic, and fully-functional object-oriented language, equivalent to the languages like C++, Ruby, or Java. Companies are now using JavaScript for all their front-end stuff regardless of the back-end technology (Ruby, C#, Python, etc). Gmail and Google Maps are examples of applications that are programmed in JavaScript.

Also Read: JavaScript Tutorial for Beginners

A web developer is considered as incomplete without the knowledge of JavaScript. Let’s discuss why JavaScript is so popular in web development.

  • Makes static web pages more dynamic

JavaScript makes a static HTML page interactive and dynamic. It allows developers to create special effects on a web page like rollover, rollout, and many types of graphics that would enhance the user experience of the web page. Generally, websites use JavaScript for validation purpose. A contact form or registration page where a user fills the information and the page validates the data filled by using JavaScript and another server-side scripting language. JavaScript usage is not only limited to the web pages, it also supports PDF documents, running widgets, flash applications, etc.

  • Extended use in Web Technologies

Since its inception, JavaScript has been evolving steadily. JavaScript is now being used in the development of other frameworks and virtual machines. With the increased popularity of JavaScript in web development arena, there has not been a single web technology which is not using JavaScript.

AJAX and Jquery are two of the most prominent examples of JavaScript. AJAX is Asynchronous JavaScript and XML in which JavaScript plays an important role. Jquery is a free and open source JavaScript library that web developers use to navigate HTML documents, adding animations and several dynamic features to the web pages. These two web technologies are among trends of dynamic website design and development

  • JavaScript enhances the visual appearance of a website

A website should have proper design and navigation. These are some of the basic jobs of JavaScript which it does with perfection. Visual effects within a website can be done with JavaScript. For an interior design website, visitors create an impression of images or photographs arranged in the website. For such kind of websites, JavaScript can be used to create effects like rollover for images. JavaScript allows users to do animations and special effects, which could be difficult to achieve with minimal coding.

JavaScript animation frameworks that allow users to develop animations easily:

  1. Processing.js

  2. Script.aculo.us

  3. Pixastic

  4. Canvas 3D JS Library

  • Event-based programming

JavaScript is an event-based programming and it functions on the basis of so-called events which are fired every time something happens. When a certain event occurs, it results in the execution of different code segments. When an event is fired from a certain portion of the code, other sections in the code will listen to the event and respond with the necessary actions to take when that event happens.

For instance, if a user has pressed any button, then the event could be “user pressed this button”. The contents of a website are meant to be interactive with mouse, keyboard, and fingers. Events in JavaScript makes a website more interactive.

  • JavaScript is fast

Speed is one of the important factors which has made JavaScript popular among the web developers. JS codes are always rendered on the user’s end and it makes the efficient execution of codes.  The results and processing of JavaScript codes are completely dependent on the size of the task. JavaScript reduces the amount of load on the servers which are extremely important for heavily trafficked websites. The code functions can be run instead of contacting the server and then wait for the server to respond.

  • Codes can be reused

JavaScript codes can be reused for the implementations in both the front and back-end codes of the websites. Reusing the parts of the code ( sharing libraries, templates, and models) will reduce the time for a developer to implement any logic.

JavaScript has certainly been the backbone of modern websites and web applications. It is considered as one of the most misunderstood language because of its name. To get a clear and concise conceptual introduction to JavaScript, consider having a look into the  JavaScript course.

Geneva

Geneva Clark

Blog Author
Geneva specializes in back-end web development and has always been fascinated by the dynamic part of the web. Talk to her about modern web applications and she and loves to nerd out on all things Ruby on Rails.

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