Between e-mail applications, social networking sites, online word processors, and mobile Web browsers, the Internet is becoming more useful and more powerful every day. A lot of that power comes from JavaScript, a quirky little language available on nearly every computer in the world through browsers such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Chrome. Brendan Eich created the language for the Netscape browser in 1995, naming it after Java even though the languages have only superficial similarities. Its formal name is ECMAScript, governed by the European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA), which published the fifth edition of the language in December 2009.

JavaScript is a scripting language, meaning it gives you ...

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