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JavaScript® Bible, Seventh Edition by Paul Novitski, Danny Goodman, Tia Gustaff Rayl, Michael Morrison

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Chapter 1. JavaScript's Role in the World Wide Web and Beyond

IN THIS CHAPTER

  • How JavaScript blends with other web-authoring technologies

  • The history of JavaScript

  • What kinds of jobs you should and should not entrust to JavaScript

Many of the technologies that make the World Wide Web possible have far exceeded their original goals. Envisioned at the outset as a medium for publishing static text and image content across a network, the Web is forever being probed, pushed, and pulled by content authors. By taking for granted so much of the "dirty work" of conveying the bits between server and client computers, content developers and programmers dream of exploiting that connection to generate new user experiences and practical applications. It's not uncommon for a developer community to take ownership of a technology and mold it to do new and exciting things. But with so many web technologies—especially browser programming with JavaScript—within reach of everyday folks, we have witnessed an unprecedented explosion in turning the World Wide Web from a bland publishing medium into a highly interactive, operating system–agnostic authoring platform.

The JavaScript language, working in tandem with related browser features, is a web-enhancing technology. When employed on the client computer, the language can help turn a static page of content into an engaging, interactive, and intelligent experience. Applications can be as subtle as welcoming a site's visitor with the greeting "Good morning!" ...

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