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Dan Abramov Just Javascript: Javascript Explained

Table of Contents

As one of the most popular programming languages currently in use, JavaScript powers most of the websites and web applications you use on a daily basis. Whether you’re programming an online store, an interactive website, a game, a mobile app, or a web service, you’ll find JavaScript at the core. Dan Abramov’s course Just JavaScript attempts to demystify this incredible language, and help budding developers better understand the logic and syntax of the language.

What is JavaScript?

JavaScript is an interpreted scripting language designed for scripting web-based applications. Originally released in 1995, it was designed to become the client side scripting language of Netscape Navigator, the premier web browser at the time. JavaScript executes within the web browser when a page is written in HTML code. It is relatively simple to learn, and it allows developers to add interactive features to their websites quickly and easily.

JavaScript is primarily used to program the behavior of web pages. It can be used to create dynamic content, control multimedia files and animate graphics. JavaScript can also be used Outside of web browsers, and is popularly used as a server side language for server technologies like Node.js.

What are the Benefits of Using JavaScript?

The greatest advantage of using JavaScript is that it allows developers to create dynamic, interactive content on websites quickly and easily. JavaScript’s cross-platform support makes it an ideal choice for creating web-based applications and games. JavaScript also provides powerful tools for manipulating data and for creating sophisticated visual effects.

JavaScript can be used in conjunction with HTML and CSS to create powerful web pages and applications. Even better, JavaScript is easy to learn, and can be used by beginners as well as experienced developers. With JavaScript, developers can give life to their websites by adding interactive elements like image sliders, drop-down menus, modal windows, and more.

JavaScript Syntax and Fundamentals

The syntax of JavaScript is similar to that of most modern programming languages — a series of statements and conditionals written in text files. JavaScript is an object-oriented language, meaning it’s built around objects instead of functions. Objects contain properties, which represent data about the individual or group, and methods, which are functions that can be used to manipulate the properties.

JavaScript also benefits from having several powerful built-in objects such as Math and Date. These objects provide advanced capabilities to make coding easier. In addition to this, most frameworks available for JavaScript such as jQuery and AngularJS also provide their own set of objects.

Understanding Variables, Data Types and Operators in JavaScript

In order to program with JavaScript, you must understand variables and data types. Variables are named containers that can store data such as numbers, strings, and objects. Data types describe the type of data a variable contains — numbers are stored as “Number” data types, text as “String” types and objects as “Object” types. When declaring variables it is important to specify what type of data each variable will contain.

Understanding operators is also key. Operators are symbols that work with data to produce results. JavaScript supports various operators such as comparison operators (==, <>, ===), logical operators (&&, ||) and arithmetic operators (+, -). Some operators require two values to work with while others require only one — understanding how each operator works will eliminate costly mistakes.

Control Flow and Loops in JavaScript

Control flow refers to the process by which code is executed. Like any programming language, JavaScript runs linearly from top to bottom. However, certain statements may cause the program to loop — meaning the same block of code is executed multiple times. Variables are used to control how many times a loop runs or when it stops.

JavaScript supports three types of loops — for loop, while loop, and do…while Loop. Each loop works differently — for loops are used to iterate over sequences of values while while loops are used while a given condition is true, and do…while loops are used when you want the loop body to execute at least once.

Working with Functions in JavaScript

Functions are another fundamental concept in JavaScript programming. Functions allow developers to perform repeatable tasks without having to write code over and over again. Function definitions are written once, then they can be called multiple times within a program wherever they are needed. There are two general ways to define functions — as named functions or as anonymous functions.

Arrays and Objects in JavaScript

Arrays and objects are two powerful tools in JavaScript programming. They are used for organizing data into a structured format that makes it easy to access and manipulate. Arrays are a type of data structure that stores multiple values in a single variable or object — values stored in an array can be accessed by referencing the array’s index number. Objects on the other hand can store any type of data — from primitive values such as strings and numbers to more complex objects such as functions.

Working with the DOM in JavaScript

The Document Object Model (DOM) is an interface between JavaScript and HTML documents. It defines methods that can be used to modify the structure, style and content of HTML documents. The DOM allows developers to access elements in a document using methods such as getElementById(), getElementsByTagName() and getElementsByClassName(). The DOM provides access to the structure of a document but not its content — other techniques such as the XMLHttpRequest object must be used for data retrieval.

Understanding Events in JavaScript

Events are actions taken by a user such as clicking a button or hovering over an element on a page. Events can also be generated by code — for example when an Ajax request completes or when an element reaches a specific position on a page. Events are an important tool in modern web development as they allow developers to create interactive experiences for their users.

Event handlers allow developers to respond when an event occurs — they are functions that execute whenever an event is triggered. All modern browsers support certain events such as mouse events and key events, but some browsers may not support certain events such as animation events or touch events.

Introduction to AJAX and JSON

AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript And XML) is a method for communicating with remote servers without requiring page refreshes. JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) is a commonly used protocol for interacting with servers — it provides an easy way to convert data into objects that JavaScript can work with. Working with AJAX and JSON is essential for creating interactive web applications.

Debugging and Troubleshooting Your Code

Debugging is a powerful skill that all developers should have – it involves detecting and solving problems in the code you have written. There are various techniques you can use when debugging your code – adding console logs where necessary in order to track down errors quickly, using step-by-step debugging to track down errors one at a time, using automated testing tools, and more.

Best Practices for Writing Clean Code

Writing clean, efficient code is essential for making easy-to-read code that performs better. By adhering to best practices such as keeping variable names descriptive, avoiding repetition by writing DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself) code, following coding conventions, writing modular code that can be reused across programs, etc., you will be able to write cleaner code that makes debugging much easier.

Conclusion

Learning JavaScript can help developers create dynamic web applications quickly and easily. Dan Abramov’s Just JavaScript course provides an excellent introduction to the language for beginners and experienced developers alike – giving developers the skills they need to program real world web applications.

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Anand Das

Anand Das

Anand is Co-founder and CTO of Bito. He leads technical strategy and engineering, and is our biggest user! Formerly, Anand was CTO of Eyeota, a data company acquired by Dun & Bradstreet. He is co-founder of PubMatic, where he led the building of an ad exchange system that handles over 1 Trillion bids per day.

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