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JavaScript, (formerly LiveScript) is a simple, cross-platform, web scripting language, only vaguely related to Java (a trademark of Sun Microsystems, now owned by Oracle Corporation). JavaScript is intimately tied to the web, and currently runs in only three environments - as a server-side scripting language, as an embedded language in server-parsed HTML, and as an embedded language run in web browsers where it is the most important part of DHTML (now HTML5).[1]

Mac users can utilize Script Editor to create and test JavaScript for automation, as well as save it as an app.[2]


JavaScript originated from Netscape and, for a time, only their products supported it. Microsoft introduced a work-alike in Internet Explorer called JScript. The resulting inconsistencies made it more difficult to write JavaScript that behaved the same in all browsers. This could be attributed to the slow progress of JavaScript through the standards bodies.[1]

JavaScript has a simplified C-like syntax and is tightly integrated with the browser Document Object Model. It is useful for implementing enhanced HTML forms, simple web database front-ends, and navigation enhancements. It is unusual in that the scope of variables extends throughout the function in which they are declared rather than the smallest enclosing block as in C.[1]

JavaScript runs "100x" slower than C, as it is purely interpreted (Java runs "10x" slower than C code). Netscape and its allies described JavaScript as an "open standard" in an effort to keep Microsoft from monopolizing web software as they have desktop software. Netscape and Sun Microsystems co-operated to enable Java and JavaScript to exchange messages and data.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 JavaScript at the Free On-Line Dictionary Of Computing. 2003-04-28.
  2. About Script Editor on Mac, Apple Support. Accessed 2021-10-10.

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