Article Diary - General Knowledge Digest

JavaScript Importance - Why JavaScript should matter to you?

In the dark days of its past, JavaScript was often used as copy-and-paste vanilla snippets to add bells and whistles to a site. Today, JavaScript powers Rich Internet Applications (RIA), from full-fledged webmail and calendar systems to modern user interface widgets. Datagrids, charts and tabs can all be powered by JavaScript. When used in AJAX , JavaScript offers web application methods that become even more interactive and responsive. And when combined with HTML5, JavaScript is slowly reshaping perceptions of what a web browser can achieve.

JavaScriptSome might argue that JavaScript’s competitors like Flash, Java Applets or Adobe Flex & Air provide better cross-browser compatibility. But remember that JavaScript’s core is almost 100% supported through all major browsers, including IE6, and without any dependencies on plugins. Those small inconsistencies of JavaScript execution in different browsers are related to the way the latter handle Document Object Models (DOM) elements and not a flaw in JavaScript itself.

The introduction of JavaScript libraries like jQuery and MooTools have further fueled the use of JavaScript. By offering a consistent API to work with, they have also allowed those intimidated by scripting to easily surmount annoying browser quirks. jQuery, for instance, is used by over 45% of all websites on the Internet. Finally, JavaScript is triumphant is beyond web browsers - it’s showing up more and more in desktop apps like Apple’s Dashboard Widgets and Yahoo’s Widgets. It’s even used in building Firefox add-ons.

Conclusion: JavaScript is going to be at the heart of many upcoming technologies and applications - spend more time learning about it.

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