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Why JavaScript Rules The Web

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Published

6 Apr 2016

Duration

6 minute read

The more I dive into coding, the more I realise how ubiqituous Javascript is.  It's in almost every website. JavaScript has predominantly been used to add profound visual effects, but it’s now used to do everything on the web. Recently, it’s most important feature now is that is it used to interpret and share JSON data as JS frameworks have taken over. In every project that has JavaScript, it is at least 30% to 40% of the codebase.


Ok, now let me familiarise you with what JavaScript is

JavaScript is a scripting language used to develop websites. It is highly popular, adopted universally by web browsers. It enables websites to present dynamic content through AJAX. While it is commonly used alongside HTML, it was developed as a standalone application and has in recent years resumed that role with a vengeance.

It is the technology that keeps your digital life ticking along with notifications and updates, the backbone of collaboration software and the social web.

It is one of the most versatile coding languages, with capabilities from visual effects to data presentation to servers.


How does JavaScript work?

It is traditionally client side. This means everything is performed by the browser, and it responds to user input. This prevents use of an application from putting too much load on the server.

It provides a way to access the DOM (Document, Object, Model). What is the DOM? Every web page can be considered an object. A Document object represents the HTML document within that web page. It has various properties that refer to other objects which allow you to access and modify it. These objects can be seen by looking at the developer tools console in the browser. The way it’s accessed and modified is called the DOM.

Without JavaScript, websites are static. JavaScript makes websites more dynamic. A perfect example of this is AJAX and jQuery. AJAX makes it possible to send (usually JSON) data to and retrieve it from a server without interfering with the display and behavior of the existing page. jQuery makes it easier to use AJAX, select DOM elements, create animations, and handle events. Events are what happen when you interact with DOM elements. One example is when you hover over a link and it becomes bold. JavaScript has a simple, universal syntax to access JSON data, which comes in key value pairs. An example of a key and value pair is the username. “Username” is the key, and “Jane Smith” is the value.


Why is JavaScript preferred?

It’s easy to start learning.

There are lots of frameworks. Some include Angular, Ember, NodeJS, and of course, jQuery. It’s easy to find one that works for you. Interested in learning Javascript? Check out our courses.

You can learn JavaScript and HTML and CSS and not have to learn anything else if you really want to, because Node.JS has brought it to the server-side, and MongoDB developed to work as a database for JavaScript applications.

JavaScript supports the imperative and procedural programming paradigm as well as Object Oriented Programming (OOP). This makes it even easier to code in the way suites you best. Procedural programming is based on the idea that programs should be designed around data: Inputting data, processing it, and producing output data. OOP instead organises code around objects. Objects are data structures that include both data and functions. Relationships between objects can also be defined in an object.


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