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JavaScript is a programming language which has C-like control flow statements (for, while, if-else, etc.) – yet is interpreted and possesses the loose typing of other scripting languages such as PERL, Python, etc.

JavaScript can be embedded in web pages for execution by browsers. See JavaScriptInXsl.

In addition, server-side execution of JavaScript (called JScript by Microsoft and ECMAScript by the EU) is not at all unknown. Cocoon 2 has full support for JavaScript, through the BSF BeanScriptingFramework which in turn uses the Rhino pure Java implementation of JavaScript.

JavaScript was invented by Netscape. Originally it was called LiveScript when it came out in mid-1995. However, given that Sun and Netscape had just announced a partnership in bringing Java to web browsers using applets, it was felt the timing sent a mixed message. So, rather than give the impression that LiveScript competed with Java and/or was driving some sort of a web between the unity of the two companies' technology, Netscape renamed the new language JavaScript.

Ever since the name JavaScript was adopted, programmers and users have mistakenly believed that JavaScript was based on Java or vice versa. This is not true. The languages both share a common ancestry with the venerable programming language C.

What the two languages do is:

  • compliment each other - one is type-safe and compiled, the other one is loosely typed and interpreted
  • interface well with each other - Rhino interpreter is written in Java so can communicate well with it; in Netscape browser JavaScript code can call C++ code and Java code using certain Netscape-supplied Java packages can communicate with JavaScript code

See also

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