JavaScript:The world most misunderstoond programming language

admin | March 25th, 2011 - 11:34 am

JavaScript, aka Mocha, aka LiveScript, aka JScript, aka ECMAScript, is one of the world’s most popular programming languages. Virtually every personal computer in the world has at least one JavaScript interpreter installed on it and in active use. JavaScript’s popularity is due entirely to its role as the scripting language of the WWW.

Despite its popularity, few know that JavaScript is a very nice dynamic object-oriented general-purpose programming language. How can this be a secret? Why is this language so misunderstood?

The Name

The Java- prefix suggests that JavaScript is somehow related to Java, that it is a subset or less capable version of Java. It seems that the name was intentionally selected to create confusion, and from confusion comes misunderstanding. JavaScript is not interpreted Java. Java is interpreted Java. JavaScript is a different language.

JavaScript has a syntactic similarity to Java, much as Java has to C. But it is no more a subset of Java than Java is a subset of C. It is better than Java in the applications that Java (fka Oak) was originally intended for.

JavaScript was not developed at Sun Microsystems, the home of Java. JavaScript was developed at Netscape. It was originally called LiveScript, but that name wasn’t confusing enough.

The -Script suffix suggests that it is not a real programming language, that a scripting language is less than a programming language. But it is really a matter of specialization. Compared to C, JavaScript trades performance for expressive power and dynamism.

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