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JavaScript Is More Than You Might Think

What JavaScript can do

JavaScript is largely a complementary language, meaning that it’s uncommon for an entire application to be written solely in JavaScript without the aid of other languages like HTML and without presentation in a web browser. Some Adobe products support JavaScript, and Windows 8 begins to change this, but JavaScript’s main use is in a browser.

JavaScript is also the J in the acronym AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), the darling of the Web 2.0 phenomenon. However, beyond that, JavaScript is an everyday language providing the interactivity expected, maybe even demanded, by today’s web visitors.

JavaScript can perform many tasks on the client side of the application. For example, it can add the needed interactivity to a website by creating drop-down menus, transforming the text on a page, adding dynamic elements to a page, and helping with form entry.

Before learning about what JavaScript can do—the focus of this book—you need to understand what JavaScript can’t do, but note that neither discussion is comprehensive.