Java vs. JavaScript

This is a bit of a "pet peeve" of mine. ("Pet peeve" is such a strange expression, you have to wonder where it came from. But anyway...) Allow me to start off with a simple statement: Java and JavaScript are not the same thing.

That's right. If you use the word "Java" when you're thinking about the language that's mixed in with HTML pages, and the language that you can see when you go to "view source," then you're using the wrong word. Or, if you use the word "JavaScript" when you're thinking about those in-depth programs called "applets" on web pages, or the language that's used for some server-side applications, then you're also using the wrong word.

Aside from the fact that Java and JavaScript have a small number of similarities (mostly in their syntax), they are still entirely different languages! JavaScript is a language that is used mainly in web pages to interact with HTML code and create a slightly more active and interesting page. This includes things such as mouse-overs and DHTML. Java, however, is a language that must be compiled into executables, which can then be inserted into web pages. It can also be used in other places, such as servers and as regular executables. The complete source code of a Java applet is not viewable inside the HTML.

JavaScript is not even based off of Java in any way. Originally, it was going to be called "LiveScript." The name was changed last minute in hopes that it would be associated with Java, as a marketing ploy. The ploy seems to have succeeded.

Personally, I feel comfortable calling myself pretty good with JavaScript; but if you asked me to write a Java applet or program, I would have no idea where to begin. Everything on my web page that moves or changes was done with JavaScript. None of it was done with Java.

Why do I bring this up? Well, honestly, it just kind of annoys me when people ask questions about "Java" when they mean JavaScript. (Not that I'd get really angry at someone who made this mistake; there are thousands of people who make it, I'm sure.) Also, in the rare cases where a good understanding of what someone is talking about is necessary, this misunderstanding can cause problems. (For instance, don't say you want someone who's good with HTML and Java to make your web page, if you want someone who's good with HTML and JavaScript.)

Well, I guess that about covers it. See ya.

     - Slime

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