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What Is JavaScript Used For?

If you have ever been on a website that was dynamic and involved a lot of user interaction, then it most likely used JavaScript. JavaScript is a text based programming language used on web browsers that make aspects on a site interactive. It makes websites a two-way street and allows for user interaction with something like a search bar for example. 

JavaScript makes the internet what it is today as a tool for online users to discover various platforms and websites. It is one of the most fundamental programming languages on the internet that helped form the web into what it is now. Without JavaScript, websites would lack functionality and not have their interactive nature which is what makes them so useful to users. In this article, we will explain what JavaScript is, how it is used, and its importance in the past, present, and future.

what is javascript

What Is JavaScript?

JavaScript is a programming language and code that allows for interactive features on web applications. These include graphics, search boxes, animations, and other aspects that make a website more interesting. JavaScript is necessary for a dynamic website that works to benefit the user and the host in terms of usability. If a website is more than just blocks of text, you can bet that they are utilizing JavaScript to add more elements. There are a few other definitions that are important to know because they are all intertwined.

  • HTML: This tool is short for hypertext mark-up language and what it does is place content on a page. Basically, HTML lets you put all the things that make up the bones of a website like text, links, images, and videos. HTML is what would let you create a login button on your website.
  • CSS: This works as a secondary part of HTML to stylize content created. CSS adds design and aesthetic elements created with HTML like color, shape, size, and style.
  • JavaScript: As the highlight of this article, JavaScript brings HTML and CSS alive by making these features interactive and usable. Before this language, most websites were either somewhat glitchy or only intended for viewing, not interacting.

A website with only HTML and CSS but without JavaScript will look nice but be unable to do much. There would be no interactive features that make a website useful, which is why JavaScript is so important to the development of the internet.

How Does JavaScript Work?

It is important to know that most websites work on the server side. This means that they run through interactions based on a user’s device. When the connection is secured, the server has data from the user and with their software it can render a webpage through the information received. 

With JavaScript, websites work on the client side to run Internet browsers. This is the web client and it connects to the web server to fetch pages. Here is where JavaScript differentiates itself from other programming tools since it works on the client side to function. JavaScript works through a built-in interpreter to read and process code which translates it onto the webpage. JavaScript can play both audio and video so it has various functions. It works to display content in a functional manner and provides a way of processing online selections, like with a search bar or login button.

what is javascript used for

When Was JavaScript Developed?

JavaScript was created in September of 1995 by Brendan Eich when he was working at Netscape Communications Corporation. Its original purpose was to fill in the gaps as a “glue language” between programmers and web designers. The reason this helped was that it allowed programmers to code certain components and interactions that made websites more useful and interesting. JavaScript works as a bridge between coding elements and design elements. 

It was officially released in March of 1996 where it saw huge success within the development community because of its innovative nature. The original JavaScript programming language was created in only ten days. With the introduction of JavaScript, programmers could go beyond basic HTML and implement changing colors, respond to user activity, and have pop-up windows. These sorts of additions were a game-changer to website developers, paving the way for the future of websites on the internet and how the modern internet was created.

What Is JavaScript Used For? 

JavaScript is used on all kinds of webpages that have interactive features, which is most websites today. The most notable use that JavaScript is known for is front-end web development. However, front-end web development is not the only use for JavaScript. The front-end of a website is the part that visitors can see. The back-end refers to the codes that make a site run. There are even more uses for JavaScript nowadays besides front-end and back-end website development. 

Front-End Website Development

JavaScript can help improve the user experience through changing text, search boxes, content resizing, and so many other things. These sorts of additions are changes to the user experience and impact how they view content on the website.

Front-End JavaScript Examples:

  • The information displayed when a button is selected
  • Formatting a drop-down menu that activates after hovering/selecting
  • Letting users zoom in and out of an image
  • Displaying a series of tabs on a website
  • Showing animations on a website
  • Audio or video playback on a webpage

As you can see, JavaScript is especially useful with all things that involve the front-end of a website to make it more user-friendly and interactive. One of the main purposes of JavaScript is to make the experience more functional and dynamic based on user interactions. The initial use of JavaScript was on the front-end of websites to make aesthetically appealing websites more functional. It is important to remember the initial purpose of JavaScript and take note of how far it has come and the multitude of uses it now has.

javascript uses

Back-End Web Development

So the back-end of a website is the section where the code is located that makes a website run on a server online. Generally, to use JavaScript on the back-end, you use it in tandem with another programming tool. An example of this would be to create a database to pull information from. The JavaScript on the back-end would be able to go through payments, save posts from users, and other functions on the back-end. While the aesthetics are lost on the back-end, JavaScript can be utilized as a simple tool that makes functions run quicker on websites. 

Mobile App Development 

When mobile applications were first introduced, they were developed with the programming language of whatever operating system they used. JavaScript is useful when developing mobile applications specifically with Android operating systems. In the present day, more and more mobile applications are using JavaScript, even on iOS. With app development, you can combine JavaScript with another program to build an application. Since mobile apps are so popular and relevant these days, JavaScript is a great tool to learn if you ever want to develop an application.

Game Development

JavaScript is a popular programming language in the online game development arena. For a programming language, JavaScript is not as powerful or complex as others, so it works best with simpler games. Still, JavaScript is a useful programming tool to power simple online games. More complicated games require a more powerful programming language. It is a great way to introduce beginners into game development since they can build simpler games.

what can you do with javascript

Do We Still Need JavaScript?

The answer to this question is unequivocally yes! The reason for this is it still helps websites run in the background. It is the most popular programming language in the world and is the basis for the functional, interactive aspects of websites. In fact, 72% of companies are seeking JavaScript experts to hire, so it is well worth learning. If you want to become a web developer, then it is extremely important to know JavaScript since it is one of the basics.This knowledge allows you to code on the front-end or the back-end of websites so you are proficient on both the client and server-side. 

As you can see, JavaScript is still important with a variety of different programming tools with many different uses. The majority of the most popular companies and websites implement JavaScript because it just works so well. More often, people combine it with other frameworks like Node.js, React, Ember, Angular, and more to create an even more powerful, effective website, mobile application, or game. 

FAQ:

  • What is JavaScript?
  • Who created JavaScript?
  • What types of platforms use JavaScript?
  • How does JavaScript function?
  • How do JavaScript and front-end pages work?

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