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JavaScript is Netscape's cross-platform, object-based scripting language for client and server applications. JavaScript lets you create applications that run over the Internet. Using JavaScript, you can create dynamic HTML pages that process user input and maintain persistent data using special objects, files, and relational databases.

What's New in Navigator 4.0

JavaScript 1.2 for Navigator 4.0 has a rich set of new features. Information on these features, with the exception of layers and style sheets, has been incorporated in this manual. For summary information on them, see What's New in JavaScript 1.2.

What You Should Already Know

This book assumes you have some basic background, including

Some programming experience with a language such as C or Visual Basic is useful, but not required.

How to Use JavaScript Documentation

This book is divided into two parts:

If you are new to JavaScript, start with Chapter 1, "Getting Started" to start scripting your own pages immediately. Then continue with the chapters in Part 1, to learn more about JavaScript in Navigator. You may find it useful to skim the material in Part 2, particularly Chapter 10, "Object Model."

If you are already familiar with JavaScript in Navigator, skim the material in Part 1, paying particular attention to the chapters that discuss more advanced topics: Chapter 4, "Using Windows and Frames" and Chapter 6, "Advanced Topics."

Once you have a firm grasp of the fundamentals, you can use the JavaScript Reference to get more details on individual objects and statements.

If you are developing a client-server JavaScript application, use the material in Part 1 to familiarize yourself with the basics of JavaScript. Then read Part 2 for a more in-depth look at the JavaScript language. All the material in Part 2 is applicable to server-side JavaScript. You need to read only material on client JavaScript if you want to incorporate only client functionality into your applications. Once you are comfortable with the core and client-side JavaScript, you're ready to use Writing Server-Side JavaScript Applications to develop your server-side JavaScript application.

In addition to these manuals, DevEdge, Netscape's online developer resource, has a lot of other information about JavaScript, such as Getting Started with Netscape JavaScript Debugger.

The JavaScript page of the DevEdge library contains several other documents of interest about JavaScript. The contents of this page change frequently. You should revisit it periodically to get the newest information.

Document Conventions

Occasionally this book tells you where to find things in the user interface of Netscape Navigator. In these cases, the book describes the user interface in Navigator 4.0. This interface may be different in earlier versions of the browser.

JavaScript applications run on many operating systems; the information here applies to all versions. File and directory paths are given in Windows format (with backslashes separating directory names). For Unix versions, the directory paths are the same, except that you use slashes instead of backslashes to separate directories.

This book uses uniform resource locators (URLs) of the form

In these URLs, server represents the name of the server on which you run your application, such as research1 or www; domain represents your Internet domain name, such as netscape.com or uiuc.edu; path represents the directory structure on the server; and file.html represents an individual filename. In general, items in italics in URLs are placeholders and items in normal monospace font are literals. If your server has Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) enabled, you would use https instead of http in the URL.

This book uses the following font conventions:

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Last Updated: 11/26/97 09:25:24

Copyright 1997 Netscape Communications Corporation