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Chapter 2: JavaScript Core Features—Overview

Overview

A scripting language is a language used to manipulate, customize, or automate the facilities of an existing system. In the case of JavaScript, that system is typically the Web browser and its associated technologies of HTML, CSS, and XML. JavaScript itself is a relatively simple language, and much of its power is derived from both the built-in and document objects provided by the browser.

The core features of JavaScript introduced in this chapter are the syntax rules to which your scripts must adhere and the basic constructs used to store data and manipulate flow control. Once you understand the basic language mechanics, more advanced features can be tackled somewhat independently, without getting mired in myriad details. C/C++ and Java programmers will find JavaScript’s syntax familiar and should be able to quickly pick up its more advanced features.

This chapter is introductory and is meant to provide a quick overview of all of JavaScript’s core features. Most of the topics will be explored in much greater depth in the chapters to follow. Because much of this material will be familiar to veteran programmers, those with previous experience might wish to merely skim this chapter.


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