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Es9 Javascript: Javascript Explained

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JavaScript is the world’s most popular programming language and is a must-have in any web developer’s toolkit. But what is JavaScript and what makes it so powerful? In this article, we will take a deep dive into the fundamentals of JavaScript, covering topics such as variables, functions, strings, data structures, control flow, error handling, APIs, and object-oriented programming. Armed with this knowledge, you should be able to create basic web applications and understand best practices for writing clean code in JavaScript. Read on to find out more.

What is JavaScript?

JavaScript is an interpreted, high-level, and object-oriented programming language. It is a scripting language primarily used for creating dynamic web pages and web applications, though it is becoming increasingly popular for mobile and server-side programming as well. It was developed in 1995 by Brendan Eich for the Netscape Communications Corporation with the intention of making web pages more interactive.

JavaScript is a powerful language that can be used to create complex applications and websites. It is also used to create interactive elements on web pages, such as forms, menus, and animations. JavaScript is a versatile language that can be used to create a wide variety of applications, from simple games to complex web applications.

What Does JavaScript Do?

JavaScript is used for a variety of tasks such as creating dynamic user interfaces and making web forms easier to use. It can be used for animation, game development, mobile development, audio and video manipulation, image manipulation, and more. Web development is particularly popular as it traditionally has been used as the main language responsible for form validation, generating dynamic HTML, creating cookies, and communicating with databases.

JavaScript is also used for creating interactive webpages, allowing users to interact with the page in real-time. This can be used for creating interactive maps, displaying data in a visually appealing way, and creating user-friendly forms. JavaScript is also used for creating web applications, allowing users to access data and services from any device. JavaScript is an incredibly versatile language, and its uses are constantly expanding.

Understanding the Basics of JavaScript

At its core, JavaScript works by using instructions to tell a computer how to do something. Instructions are written in a syntax which tells the computer what it needs to do—just like any other language. Such instructions are called statements. Statements in JavaScript can perform tasks such as assigning values to variables (storing information) or forming loops which execute a set of instructions multiple times until a certain condition is fulfilled. This type of language is known as a procedural programming language.

JavaScript is also an object-oriented programming language, which means that it can be used to create objects that contain data and functions. These objects can be used to store and manipulate data, as well as to create complex applications. JavaScript is also used to create interactive web pages, allowing users to interact with the page in real-time. JavaScript is a powerful language that can be used to create a wide variety of applications.

Variables in JavaScript

Variables are a fundamental part of any programming language—they are like storage containers for information. In JavaScript, variables can contain any type of data such as numbers, strings, objects, or even functions. Variables are declared with the keyword ‘var’ followed by the name of the variable itself. Variables can then be used to store any type of data in order to make programs more dynamic.

It is important to note that variables are case sensitive, meaning that the variable ‘myVariable’ is not the same as ‘myvariable’. Additionally, variables must be declared before they can be used, otherwise the program will throw an error. Once declared, variables can be used throughout the program to store and manipulate data.

Working with Strings in JavaScript

Strings are sequences of characters wrapped in single or double quotes. They are primarily used to store and manipulate text in order to make programs more interactive. JavaScript provides multiple functions which can be used to manipulate strings such as concatenate two strings together or search for a certain letter within a string. Furthermore, methods can be implemented to manipulate the properties of strings such as finding the length of a string or changing the case of each letter.

In addition to the methods mentioned above, JavaScript also provides a number of built-in functions that can be used to manipulate strings. These functions can be used to trim whitespace from the beginning and end of a string, replace certain characters within a string, or split a string into an array of substrings. By utilizing these functions, developers can easily manipulate strings to create more dynamic and interactive programs.

Functions in JavaScript

Functions are reusable pieces of code which can take parameters and return values. They are like small programs within a larger program which can be used to accomplish specific tasks. Functions are declared with the keywords ‘function’ followed by the name of the function and then parentheses containing any parameters which will be passed into it. Inside of the function is a set of instructions which will be executed when the function is called.

Data Structures in JavaScript

Data structures are the foundation of any program—they are ways of organising and storing data in order to make it easier to use. In JavaScript, there are two main data structures—arrays and objects. Arrays can contain any type of data such as numbers or strings and are written as a list in square brackets (eg. [1, 2, 3]). Objects contain properties, which are like variables associated with that object (eg. {name: ‘John’}. They consist of a key/value pair and can contain any type of data including functions.

Control Flow and Error Handling in JavaScript

Control flow is used to define how a program progresses through any set of instructions and this is done through loops which allow programs to repeat steps until a specific condition is reached. Error handling is also important for any program since it helps detect and recover from errors. In JavaScript, errors can be handled through try/catch/finally blocks which allow programs to continue executing even if an error occurs.

Working with APIs in JavaScript

APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) provide access to features outside of the scope of a basic program and give developers more flexibility when building programs. In JavaScript, APIs allow access to databases or APIs from other companies such as Facebook or Twitter. Accessing external APIs with JavaScript usually involves communicating with them using either AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) or Fetch.

Object-Oriented Programming in JavaScript

Object-oriented programming (OOP) is a way of writing programs which group related bits of code into objects and classes which allow them to interact with each other. OOP allows for reusable code which makes programs easier to maintain and debug. In JavaScript, OOP can be used to create complex programs by using classes which allow objects to inherit certain features from one another.

Best Practices for Writing Clean Code in JavaScript

Writing clean code is essential to writing efficient code—it helps the readability and maintenance by reducing the likelihood of bugs popping up in the future. To achieve this, one should always use consistent formatting (eg. indentation), use descriptive variable names, comment important sections of code, avoid global variables where possible, and use try/catch blocks for error handling.

Resources for Further Learning

Now that you have an understanding of the basics of JavaScript, you can start learning about more advanced topics such as web frameworks, TypeScript, React, or Node.js—just to name a few. To explore these topics further or simply brush up on your coding skills, there are a plethora of free online resources to pick from such as Codecademy or W3 Schools.

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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