What Are the Alternatives to JavaScript?

Several other programming languages can add interactivity to web pages, but they all differ from JavaScript in important ways. The four main alternatives are CGI scripting, Java, VBScript, and Flash.

CGI Scripting

Before JavaScript, using CGI scripts was the only way to make web pages do more than hyperlink to other web pages containing fixed text. CGI stands for Common Gateway Interface. It's a protocol that allows a web browser running on your computer to communicate with programs running on webservers. It is most often used with HTML forms—pages where the user enters information and submits it for processing. For example, the user might see a web page containing places for entering the length and selecting ...

Get The Book of JavaScript, 2nd Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.