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Q4000 Is JavaScript same as Java?

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NO! An Amazingly large number of people, including many web designers, don't understand the difference between Java and JavaScript. Briefly it can be summed up as follows:

Java was developed by Sun Microsystems. Java is a full-fledged object-oriented programming language. It can be used to create standalone applications and applet. Applets are downloaded as separate files to your browser alongside an HTML document, and provide an infinite variety of added functionality to the Web site you are visiting. The displayed results of applets can appear to be embedded in an HTML page (e.g., the scrolling banner message that is so common on Java-enhanced sites), but the Java code arrives as a separate file.

JavaScript on the other hand was developed by Netscape, is a smaller and simpler scripting language that does not create applets or standalone applications. In its most common form today, JavaScript resides inside HTML documents, and can provide levels of interactivity far beyond typically flat HTML pages -- without the need for server-based CGI (Common Gateway Interface) programs.

Some server software, such as Netscape's SuiteSpot, lets web application developers write CGI programs in a server-side version of JavaScript. Both client-side and server-side JavaScript share the same core JavaScript language, but each side deals with different kinds of objects. Client-side objects are predominantly the components of an HTML web page (e.g., forms, text boxes, buttons). Server-side objects are those that facilitate the handling of requests that come from clients, as well as connectivity to databases.

It is important to understand that a Java-enabled browser is not automatically a JavaScript-enabled browser: the two technologies require entirely separate interpreters (licensed from separate companies) to handle the languages. It is unlikely, however, that future browsers will incorporate one but not the other (plus or minus implementation timetables on various platforms).

Starting with Netscape Navigator 3.0, HTML authors have been able to use JavaScript to link HTML form elements to Java applets (and plug-ins) or link Java applets to each other --LiveConnect(tm), Netscape calls this technology. Rather than competing with each other, Java and JavaScript are a powerful combination.

Much simpler and smaller than the Java vocabulary, JavaScript is within reach of authors who know HTML; writing full-fledged Java, on the other hand, benefits from experience with C and C++. Java and JavaScript share a number of vocabulary and syntax constructions, but the languages are intended for very different purposes.

All you need to program in JavaScript is a text editor and a JavaScript-enabled browser, such as Netscape Navigator 2.0 or later.

Adapted from original at www.dannyg.com.

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