9 Facts Everyone Should Know About JavaScript

Javascript benefits

“Any application that can be written in JavaScript, will eventually be written in JavaScript.”

– Jeff Atwood (developer, creator of Stack Overflow)

The evolution of the web has been incredible, and along with it, technologies have also changed, creating the web reality we know today. One of them is JavaScript, one of the most basic languages used in developing websites, but equally web and mobile applications.

JavaScript is undoubtedly the most important programming language in the world. Google, YouTube, Wikipedia, Yahoo!, Amazon, Facebook, eBay, LinkedIn, and Twitter have all been built using JavaScript. Virtually everything a user directly interacts with on that site, developers built with JS. 

Today, JavaScript has many frameworks and libraries available that can do almost anything you want. Statistics show that 95% of all websites use it. According to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2022, JavaScript is the No. 1 programming language. 

When was JavaScript invented?

JavaScript was invented by Brendan Eich in 1995 when he was working for Netscape Communications Corporation, creator of the legendary web browser, Netscape Navigator. At the time, Java was gaining popularity, but it was too large and complex a technology to reach novice designers. So Netscape Communications commissioned Brendan Eich to design a universal programming language that could speed up web development and serve as a scripting companion to Java. And yet, instead of being just a schema for Netscape Navigator, JavaScript has become something much more.

What is JavaScript, and how does it work?

At first, JavaScript was only used to create interactive pages and was limited only to the web browser. But now, this language has also become part of server-side coding and is a strong competitor to other languages on the market. 

We can describe it as a text-based programming language used for both client-side and server-side scripting of web pages. Where HTML and CSS give structure and style to web pages, JavaScript is responsible for interactive elements that engage the user. But that’s not all.

JavaScript helps users create modern web applications for direct interaction without reloading the page each time. Developers commonly use JavaScript to modify HTML and CSS dynamically to update the user interface through the DOM API.  It not only works in browsers but has many other uses. We will discuss a few of them below.

JavaScript – what is it used for?

Web applications

Developers nowadays use various JavaScript frameworks to create web applications. Browsers are constantly improving daily, so JavaScript has gained popularity in developing robust web applications. An example is Google Maps. All the user has to do, is click and drag the mouse; the details are visible with a single click. Behind these concepts is the use of JavaScript. World-renowned applications have been developed with the help of frameworks, for example, Google uses Angular, and Facebook uses React. 

Also, in our development practice, we use JavaScript to create dynamic website content, real-time content updates, interactive forms, various animations, and advanced features that enhance the web application’s performance and engage the user. An example is the RealMadryt.pl application, which aimed to create a comprehensive, responsive platform that engages soccer club fans. Visitors can enjoy an improved UX, new functionalities, a straightforward interface, and intuitive navigation.

Mobile apps

JavaScript’s features and applications make it a powerful tool for developing mobile applications. A trendy framework for application development is React Native. With its help, we can build mobile applications for different operating systems (cross-platform apps). Other popular front-end JavaScript frameworks include React, Angular, and Vue.  

Building web servers and developing server-side applications

In addition to websites and apps, developers can also use JavaScript to create simple web servers and build back-end infrastructure using the Node.js library, which provides an environment containing the necessary tools required to run JavaScript on servers.

Game development

JavaScript is also used to develop browser-based games. It’s an excellent way for novice programmers to practice their skills. It has various libraries and frameworks for game development, such as PhysicsJS, Pixi.js. We can also use WebGL (web graphics library), a JavaScript API for rendering 2D and 3D images in browsers.

Why is JavaScript so important? 9 reasons

1. Compatibility with other languages

JavaScript works well with other languages and can be used in many applications. We mentioned some popular frameworks above.

2. Client-side programming runs in the browser

With JavaScript, you can run and test code in the browser without creating a unique development environment or configuration in a text editor. All you need is a web browser available on almost every system and a text editor to run the program. 

3. Easy to learn

JavaScript is easy to learn because it is a higher-level language, so it requires dealing with many intricacies in its code (handled by the machine instead of in the code). You can learn the basics of JavaScript in a few months and build an application yourself, or start creating simple programs.

4. Responsiveness

JavaScript provides methods you can use in your application to get the current screen size and use the result to perform actions based on that size. Using CSS and HTML, you can resize, hide, shrink, enlarge or move content to look good on any screen.

9 Javascript benefits5. Programming without compilation

JavaScript is an interpreted language, not a compiled language. Unlike, for example, a language such as C++ or Java, which must be compiled before running, JavaScript has no compilation step. Instead, the interpreter in the browser reads the JavaScript code, interprets each line, and runs it. Modern browsers use a just-in-time (JIT) compilation technology, which compiles JavaScript into executable byte code just before it runs.

6. Task interactivity

JavaScript allows users to interact with web pages. You can create interfaces that respond when the user hovers the mouse over them or activates them with the keyboard. Include elements such as drag-and-drop and sliders to provide site visitors with a rich interface.

7. AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML)

AJAX allows us to download and upload data without reloading the entire page dynamically. It’s practically the norm these days. When you go to Facebook, browse your wall loading more posts, and you can write a comment at the same time.

8. Large library base

JavaScript’s libraries contain code or functions that programmers can reuse to perform a specific task. They not only save time but also simplify the entire development process. Some examples of popular JavaScript libraries are Angular.js, Vue.js, Underscore.js, Node.js, and React.js.

9. Compatibility with other browsers

Web servers run in various languages: PHP, Python, Ruby, Java, or .NET. Because JavaScript in the browser is 100% independent of how web pages are generated, users will always have the same positive experience, regardless of the language used on the server side.

Summary

We can conclude that JavaScript is a powerful programming language that helps developers easily and quickly create large-scale web applications.

It also significantly impacts the speed, performance, and functionality of applications. Nowadays, it is prevalent for developers to use JavaScript and the necessary libraries to make their web applications provide the best possible user experience on different devices, browsers, and operating systems. 

At Studio Software, we have built many products using JS. You can see examples of web and mobile applications in our portfolio. If you would like to learn more about whether this technology will work for your project, please contact our engineers. We will be happy to answer your questions and dispel any doubts you may have.

 

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