What is JavaScript?

JavaScript, also known as JS, is used to make web applications more interactive, rather than being plain and static pages. It is an untyped, multi-paradigm, object-oriented programming language employed by most websites and supported by most browsers who have built-in JavaScript engines. It forms one of the 3 pillars for content production on the WWW, alongside HTML and CSS. JavaScript requires a host platform from where it can then control its programmatic requirements.

 

JavaScript programming language
JavaScript

 

Named in 1995 by Netscape Communications, JavaScript confused many as it was perceived as a spinoff of Java, an altogether different programming language. This was later dubbed as a marketing ploy by Netscape to increase popularity due to the seeming affiliation with Java which was and still is a very popular programming language. The two languages hold some similarities, however Java has static typing and strong check typing. Java is class based whereas JavaScript is object oriented: in Java, variable data types must be declared, whereas the opposite is true for JavaScript, and Java can automatically write to hard disk whereas JavaScript cannot. JavaScript is similar to Java in the sense that it follows most of its expression syntax, naming conventions and basic control flow constructs.

 

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Real World Applications

 

JavaScript
JavaScript

 

JavaScript  is used to spice up websites and to add effects, display pop up messages, build basic games and more. Since the launch of Node.js in 2009, it has become one of the most popular programming languages, especially for building server-side software. Github created a software development platform called Electron that allows developers to create web applications using JavaScript, as well as HTML and CSS that can run on Windows, Macintosh, Linux and OSX. Microsoft recently released Visual Studio, which was built using Electron, and other companies such as Slack and Brave have built their entire web apps using JavaScript, due to it being able to create both browser side and server side software.

 

Language Trends

 

JavaScript is ranked 7th in terms of popularity in 2017 by the TIOBE index; however, Forbes has ranked it #3 in terms of popularity 2017 and Redmonk, that compares languages by discussion on Stack Overflow and usage on Github, has ranked it #1! According to Coding Dojo, the language is used by over 90% of all web pages which means it is highly utilised. In New York, Bloomberg was looking for more JavaScript developers than any other employer.

 

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