JavaScript is no longer a sleeper in web technologies. Originally given its name in an attempt to ride the coattails of Java (which was supposed to change the world), JavaScript is not truly related to Java. In the past year Java faded from prominence, JavaScript has quietly become one of the most useful tools for web designers who want to bring life to static web pages.

I am not a programmer, and have never learned JavaScript. Luckily, there are enough people on the Internet who do know how to program in JavaScript, and luckier still, they share what they've done.

One of the earliest uses of JavaScript was to make scrolling text appear on the bottom pane of the web browser window. While still an effective way of getting your visitor's attention, I suspect that scrolling text has lost its glamour since it became commonplace.

Another more interesting and flexible use of JavaScript is a mouse over event. I'm using JavaScript on the home page of this site to highlight links as your mouse passes over.

On my personal home page I'm currently using two other JavaScripts. One script makes today's date appear when the visitor loads the page. The other script randomly prints one of twenty-two quotes each time a visitor loads the page. This last JavaScript can also be used to generate random sounds or pictures.

You may want to look at BUILDER.COM's Menu Maker. If you've been to a site with a drop down selection box that you can use to navigate, you've seen this kind of menu. When you visit be sure to have your list of links ready!

The only real problem with JavaScript these days is that there are some paranoid folks out there who are aware that JavaScript can be used to do malicious things, so they disable JavaScript in their web browsers. Considering we've never ever heard a story of a JavaScript hack, I'm afraid I'll have to consider these paranoids to be the equivalent of the people who bought property in very remote places to hide from the panicky millions when Y2K destroyed civilization.

That said, you decide whether you want to review your web pages to see what paranoids (and others who refuse to upgrade from Netscape 2.0) see.




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