October 31, 2008

What are undefined and undeclared variables?

Undeclared variables are those that are not declared in the program (do not exist at all),trying to read their values gives runtime error.But if undeclared variables are assigned then implicit declaration is done .

Undefined variables are those that are not assigned any value but are declared in the program.Trying to read such variables gives special value called undefined value.

How to change style on an element?

Between CSS and javascript is a weird symmetry. CSS style rules are layed on top of the DOM. The CSS property names like "font-weight" are transliterated into "myElement.style.fontWeight". The class of an element can be swapped out. For example:
document.getElementById("myText").style.color = "green";
document.getElementById("myText").style.fontSize = "20";
document.getElementById("myText").className = "regular";

How to set the cursor to wait ?

In theory, we should cache the current state of the cursor and then put it back to its original state.
document.body.style.cursor = 'wait';
//do something interesting and time consuming
document.body.style.cursor = 'auto';

August 22, 2008

How can JavaScript be used to improve the look and feel of a Web site? By the same token, how can JavaScript be used to improve the user interface?

On their own, Web pages tend to be lifeless and flat unless you add animated images or more bandwidth-intensive content such as Java applets or other content requiring plug-ins to operate (Shockwave and Flash, for example).

Embedding JavaScript into an HTML page can bring the page to life in any number of ways. Perhaps the most visible features built into pages recently with the help of JavaScript are the so-called image rollovers: roll the cursor atop a graphic image and its appearance changes to a highlighted version as a feedback mechanism to let you know precisely what you're about to click on. But there are less visible yet more powerful enhancements to pages that JavaScript offers.

Interactive forms validation is an extremely useful application of JavaScript. While a user is entering data into form fields, scripts can examine the validity of the data--did the user type any letters into a phone number field?, for instance. Without scripting, the user has to submit the form and let a server program (CGI) check the field entry and then report back to the user. This is usually done in a batch mode (the entire form at once), and the extra transactions take a lot of time and server processing power. Interactive validation scripts can check each form field immediately after the user has entered the data, while the information is fresh in the mind.

Are you concerned that older browsers don't support JavaScript and thus exclude a set of Web users? individual users?
Fragmentation of the installed base of browsers will only get worse. By definition, it can never improve unless absolutely everyone on the planet threw away their old browsers and upgraded to the latest gee-whiz versions. But even then, there are plenty of discrepancies between the script ability of the latest Netscape Navigator and Microsoft Internet Explorer.

The situation makes scripting a challenge, especially for newcomers who may not be aware of the limitations of earlier browsers. A lot of effort in my books and ancillary material goes toward helping scripter know what features work in which browsers and how to either workaround limitations in earlier browsers or raise the compatibility common denominator.

Designing scripts for a Web site requires making some hard decisions about if, when, and how to implement the advantages scripting offers a page to your audience. For public Web sites, I recommend using scripting in an additive way: let sufficient content stand on its own, but let scriptable browser users receive an enhanced experience, preferably with the same HTML document

How can JavaScript make a Web site easier to use? That is, are there certain JavaScript techniques that make it easier for people to use a Web site?

JavaScript's greatest potential gift to a Web site is that scripts can make the page more immediately interactive, that is, interactive without having to submit every little thing to the server for a server program to re-render the page and send it back to the client. For example, consider a top-level navigation panel that has, say, six primary image map links into subsections of the Web site. With only a little bit of scripting, each map area can be instructed to pop up a more detailed list of links to the contents within a subsection whenever the user rolls the cursor atop a map area. With the help of that popup list of links, the user with a scriptable browser can bypass one intermediate menu page. The user without a scriptable browser (or who has disabled JavaScript) will have to drill down through a more traditional and time-consuming path to the desired content.

How is JavaScript different from Java?

JavaScript was developed by Brendan Eich of Netscape Java was developed at Sun Microsystems. While the two languages share some common syntax, they were developed independently of each other and for different audiences. Java is a full-fledged programming language tailored for network computing it includes hundreds of its own objects, including objects for creating user interfaces that appear in Java applets (in Web browsers) or standalone Java applications. In contrast, JavaScript relies on whatever environment it's operating in for the user interface, such as a Web document's form elements.

JavaScript was initially called LiveScript at Netscape while it was under development. A licensing deal between Netscape and Sun at the last minute let Netscape plug the "Java" name into the name of its scripting language. Programmers use entirely different tools for Java and JavaScript. It is also not uncommon for a programmer of one language to be ignorant of the other. The two languages don't rely on each other and are intended for different purposes. In some ways, the "Java" name on JavaScript has confused the world's understanding of the differences between the two. On the other hand, JavaScript is much easier to learn than Java and can offer a gentle introduction for newcomers who want to graduate to Java and the kinds of applications you can develop with it.

How can JavaScript be used to personalize or tailor a Web site to fit individual users?

JavaScript allows a Web page to perform "if-then" kinds of decisions based on browser version, operating system, user input, and, in more recent browsers, details about the screen size in which the browser is running. While a server CGI program can make some of those same kinds of decisions, not everyone has access to or the expertise to create CGI programs. For example, an experienced CGI programmer can examine information about the browser whenever a request for a page is made thus a server so equipped might serve up one page for Navigator users and a different page for Internet Explorer users. Beyond browser and operating system version, a CGI program can't know more about the environment. But a JavaScript-enhanced page can instruct the browser to render only certain content based on the browser, operating system, and even the screen size.

Scripting can even go further if the page author desires. For example, the author may include a preference screen that lets the user determine the desired background and text color combination. A script can save this information on the client in a well-regulated local file called a cookie. The next time the user comes to the site, scripts in its pages look to the cookie info and render the page in the color combination selected previously. The server is none the wiser, nor does it have to store any visitor-specific information.

Subscribe to

Add to Google
Add to My Yahoo!
Subscribe Via Web Feed
kick it on DotNetKicks.com