sometimes annoying, things that happen on websites, such as generating pop-ups. On the home page of this site
by Jim Pretin
If you are creating a web site for the first time, then you probably have some knowledge of the HTML programming
language. HTML is a fairly simple language to learn, and most beginning web designers are usually self-taught when
it comes to using HTML to create a simple site. HTML provides the style, structure, and formatting for a web
However, HTML does not actually do anything. It is a static programming language. It does not process anything
or make your site interactive, it just sits there and tells the browser how the site should look.
[Various other methods of making content more dynamic, flexible, and interesting have poped up as well (pun
intended.) CSS for layout, DHTML for things lake fancy menus, and so on. -UT]
So, other programming languages have been created to not only improve site design, but to validate forms,
establish cookies to make sites easier to use, and to react to input received from the user.
One such language, perhaps the most important and widely used non-static programming language, is called
Scripting languages are used to connect diverse pre-existing parts to accomplish a new related task without
compiling. Instead, scripting languages are interpreted, and are executed faster than a compiling language.
trademark of Sun Microsystems, and is compatible with every major browser on the market.
page. For example, if the user is filling out an online form on the site and enters invalid information into one of
form is submitted. If the input is invalid, the script can be used to prevent the form from being submitted and to
tell the user what needs to be corrected.
programmer can create certain functions that can be executed if that function is called upon somewhere in the body
section of the page.
Using the form example once again, if there is an HTML form somewhere on the page, the programmer may
submitted. To accomplish this, the function must be inserted in between the opening and closing head tags
of the web page.
Then, the function must be called upon within the form tag of the HTML form. When the user tries
name has been entered. If the last name was omitted, then the submission is halted and the user is told to enter
his or her last name before submitting the form.
logic of Javscript functions is often created using if/then statements so that if a certain condition exists, then
a certain reaction or output will result. Uses for these functions include form validation, enabling cookies,
displaying certain images when the user performs a certain action, and detecting what kind of web browser the user
has, so that the style of the web page can be instantly adjusted to accommodate that particular browser.
About the Author
Jim Pretin is the owner of http://www.forms4free.com/, a service that helps programmers make email forms.
thousands of sites that have free code samples, tutorials, tips, and more. For example, the W3schools site has a nice tutorial, with many examples, that will take you from
This means that everthing is written in English, not geek jargon. This one takes you step by step and
explains a few backgrouind ideas, as well.