Blog 4: JavaScript

So, what is Javascript?

Just to clarify, JavaScript != Java. Many beginners would assume JavaScript is somehow related to Java because it has the phrase “Java” in it. Which is entirely false since these two programming languages are actually very different from each other. Having that said, JavaScript is the one of many languages of web development. Aside from HTML and CSS, JavaScript is an OOP (Object Oriented Programming) language capable of DOM manipulation and an interpreted language. So, What does that mean? You can use JavaScript to manipulate web documents in a way to make a website interactive. And since its an interpreted language, you don’t have to deal with compiling your code into machine readable language. Oh, and JavaScript is dynamic type. This makes programming easier since you won’t be clarifying types of variables and allows faster construction of functions.

Fun Fact : JavaScript’s original name was Mocha, but it was then renamed to LiveScript. After Netscape (company who made LiveScript) and Sun (company who made Java) established a business deal, Netscape renamed LiveScript to Javascript as a way to say Thank You to the guys at Sun.

True Programming Language

HTML and CSS are NOT programming languages.

Let’s recall what HTML and CSS stands for.

HTML = Hyper Text Markup Language
CSS = Cascade Style Sheets.

This means that HTML is Markup Language and CSS is Style Sheet Language. Javascript is classified as a programming language. To emphasis, In Javascript, and any other programming languages out there, you will be dealing lots of brain teasing code. It is best recommended to know basic math and algebra before dealing with any programming language. Constructing variables and assigning it to a value, either a string or an integer, and formulating functions (sets of instruction implementing an algorithm) is common when programming. You will also be dealing with logical statements such as If, If-else, else, switches, and loops. In my experience, learning your first programming language is difficult. But once you know the basic syntax, the fun opens. If you are ever fluent in Javascript, then you can adapt to Java, C++, Python, and every programming languages out there, easily, as it shares the same syntax.

Libraries and Frameworks

The truth is, vanilla JavaScript isn’t enough. In the future, you will probably implement libraries and Frameworks into your code. Libraries are pre-written javascript functions developed by programmers who wanted faster and efficient code. And Frameworks is basically libraries and API combined that dictates the architecture of your web application. Here are some known JavaScript popular Libraries and Frameworks.

JQuery : A JavaScript library built for easy animation in your webpage
React.js : Built by Facebook, Designed for Faster User Interface
Babel : A framework that compiles old Javascript to ES6!!! (next generation JavasScript :0 )

With that aside, you should take your own time researching the many faces of Javascript. And in my opinion, Libraries and Frameworks is what makes JavaScript fun to play with.

Client-Sided

You should also know that default JavaScript is client sided. Pretend JavaScript is a video game. And in this video game there is no multiplayer support. Everything about JavaScript deals with the client and not the server. Buttons, animation, and basically anything that beautify the website is all constructed by your web browser and not anything else. If you want to employ your code onto a server, then Node.JS is up your alley. To give an example of server-sided programming, imagine an online chatbot. This chatbot is interacts with the user by processing user inputs and gives an output. All this processing is happening inside a server.

Conclusion

JavaScript is basically a client-sided, interpretive, programming language. You would use JavaScript to construct algorithms and apply it onto your webpage to make it interactive. User Interaction is one of the key features of what a good website should have, and JavaScript allows that to happen. To a beginner that’s learning JavaScript or any programming languages for their first time, it’s going to be a hassle. Even if you’re an expert at programming, there will always be that one code that won’t work, and when you finally fix it, more broken code will appear! Many beginners would get frustrated when this happen. However, this is very common, even for advance programmers. It’s a matter of being motivated to overcome such obstacle, and in the end, when everything works, you will feel a sense of joy.

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