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Introduction

By Maria Antonietta Perna

JavaScript gives you the freedom to add interactivity and responsiveness to your web pages.

The aim of this tutorial is to provide you with a thorough, yet accessible introduction to JavaScript using snappy explanations and practical tasks to try out right from the start.

No prior knowledge of JavaScript is assumed, but because JavaScript sits within and manipulates web pages, in order to be able to follow along, you should already be familiar with HTML and CSS. If you are new to either or both, you’re advised to step through our HTML and CSS tutorials first.

JavaScript is a lightweight, easy to learn, scripting language. It’s used on almost every website to respond to user actions, validate web forms, detect browser support, and much more.

JavaScript is a web programming language, that is, a language that enables you, the designer of your website, to control how a web page behaves. This makes JavaScript crucially different from HTML, the language that gives structure to your web documents, and CSS, the language that controls the appearance of web pages.

If you know other programming languages such as PHP, most programming concepts and basic JavaScript syntax will sound quite familiar to you. However, if this is not the case, don’t worry: by following along and experimenting with the code, at the end of this hands-on tutorial you’ll be able to spruce up your static web pages with fun effects and fantastic responsiveness for the joy of your website visitors.

If you need help along the way, don’t forget to turn to our forums. This is where you meet the real experts who are willing and ready to offer tips, suggestions and advice.

What is needed?

To bring to life your web pages with JavaScript all you need is a text editor and an updated, standard-compliant browser of your choice, such as Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Opera, to mention just the most popular ones.

Basic free text editors that ship with your operating system such as Notepad (on Windows) and Text Edit (on Mac) will do just fine. However, text editors that offer programming languages support, such as the free Notepad++ (for Windows users) and TextWrangler (for Mac users), might be a great resource when ploughing through more than a few lines of code.

Ready to supercharge your web pages with JavaScript? Let’s get started!


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