Chapter 1. Introduction to JavaScript

Like many technologies that have enjoyed success and sticking power, JavaScript has taken on new purpose and relevance since its creation many years ago. It's no longer correct to say that JavaScript is just a scripting language or even just for the web. In fact, JavaScript is one of the few truly multi-vendor, multi-platform, and multi-purpose programming languages in use today. It holds this status not just because it happened to be the language that was designed for browser scripting but also because it's an extremely flexible, expressive, and forgiving language that both amateurs and professional developers alike can appreciate. Certainly one could say it's thanks to the web that we have such an interesting and powerful way to build applications, but it's thanks to JavaScript that we have such an interesting and powerful web.

This book will serve as a detailed reference for all things JavaScript. This includes, of course, all the language basics but also virtually everything to do with its core objects, features, and limitations. You'll examine advanced topics too, such as how JavaScript can be applied to provide specific interactivity or features inside a web page, how to use it to manipulate the structure of web documents, and how to interact with other web technologies like Flash, Silverlight, CSS, and even offline storage.

This chapter will provide an overview of the language and how it fits into the spectrum of web technologies. It'll ...

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