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Getting Started

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Introduction

Learning a programming language is a daunting task for anyone who hasn't learnt one before. One of the biggest problems is trying to do too much too soon. If you don't have a firm grasp of the basics then you will soon be floundering out of your depth and wonder why you thought to try programming in the first place.

Taking things slowly means that you will not be producing the really fancy scripts that you want for quite some time. Of course even the most simple piece of Javascript code can be useful.

Another thing that confuses many beginners is that programmers use what is almost a foreign language when talking about programming. Terms such as "variable", "function", "object" and so forth don't have just their regular English meanings but also sometimes different and quite specific meaning to programmers. It is impossible to avoid using such terms in introducing you to programming as the terminology is something that you need to know in order to look up further information in various books and references. Don't worry though because whenever I start using "computer speak" I will also explain in plainer English what the terminology means as well as giving examples so you can see for yourself exactly what it means. You'll also find the terms in the Glossary so that you can look up the meaning there if you missed the earlier description.

In the tutorials that follow, no previous programming knowledge is needed. The tutorials will introduce you step by step to both programming and the Javascript programming language. We will start with programming basics and gradually build on this in small steps to cover what you need to know to be able to create your own Javascripts from scratch that will do what you want them to do.

Note that there are now two tutorial series for beginners, one that introduces modern JavaScript and the other that looks at a more classical approach to JavaScript. The modern series is also intended for people who already know JavaScript to update their approach.

What the Modern Course Includes

The following tutorial series is specifically for beginners to introduce the basics.

  1. Variables and Operators (in 11 parts)
  2. Decision Making (in 13 parts)
  3. Functions (in 7 parts)

The following series is for everyone to introduce the modern way of coding JavaScript.

  1. Hello World
  2. Events
  3. Visitor Triggered Events
  4. Timed Events
  5. Testing Conditions
  6. Feature Sensing
  7. Alternate Tag Location
  8. Functions and Methods
  9. Passing Parameters
  10. Variables/Properties
  11. Objects
  12. Arrays
  13. NodeLists
  14. Loops
  15. Numbers
  16. Strings
  17. Dates
  18. Alert
  19. Other Objects
  20. Extending Objects
  21. Creating Objects
  22. Collision Proofing
  23. JavaScript and Forms
  24. Updating the Web Page
  25. Obsolete JavaScript

What the Classical Course Includes

The following is a list of the topics that are covered in this tutorial series. Note that the material in this course covers much of the same material as the modern course does but covers the way that people used to handle the tasks using javaScript. While much of the code that is used for modern coding is the same as the classical method (which is why I haven't removed these tutorials) some of the material presented in these tutorials is more appropriate for antiquated browsers such as IE4 and Netscape 4 rather than modern browsers such as Firefox 3, Opera 9.5, Safari 3 and IE8.

  1. Hello World
  2. Variables
  3. Operators
  4. The IF Statement
  5. The CASE Statement
  6. Functions
  7. Variable Scope
  8. Passing Parameters
  9. Values of Functions
  10. ALERT and CONFIRM
  11. Comments
  12. Finding and Fixing Errors
  13. External Javascripts
  14. Using NOSCRIPT
  15. Objects and Properties
  16. Arrays
  17. FOR Loops
  18. WHILE Loops
  19. Date and Time
  20. Mathematical Functions
  21. String Processing
  22. Document Object Model
  23. The Internet Explorer DOM
  24. The Netscape DOM
  25. The W3C DOM
  26. Cross Browser DOM
  27. Event Handlers
  28. Mouse Events
  29. Keyboard Events
  30. Form Handling Events
  31. Page Load/Unload Events
  32. Timed Events
  33. Global Events
  34. Object Oriented Javascript
  35. Defining Classes
  36. Puting it all Together
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