JavaScript is one of the 3 languages all web developers must learn:

  1. HTML to define the content of web pages
  2. CSS to specify the layout of web pages
  3. JavaScript to program the behavior of web pages

Web pages are not the only place where JavaScript is used. Many desktop and server programs use JavaScript. Node.js is the best known. Some databases, like MongoDB and CouchDB, also use JavaScript as their programming language.

JavaScript (JS) is a lightweight interpreted or JIT-compiled programming language with first-class functions. While it is most well-known as the scripting language for Web pages, many non-browser environments also use it, such as Node.js, Apache CouchDB and Adobe Acrobat. JavaScript is a prototype-based, multi-paradigm, dynamic language, supporting object-oriented, imperative, and declarative (e.g. functional programming) styles. Read more about JavaScript.

This section is dedicated to the JavaScript language itself, and not the parts that are specific to Web pages or other host environments. For information about APIsspecific to Web pages, please see Web APIs and DOM.

The standard for JavaScript is ECMAScript. As of 2012, all modern browsers fully support ECMAScript 5.1. Older browsers support at least ECMAScript 3. On June 17, 2015, ECMA International published the sixth major version of ECMAScript, which is officially called ECMAScript 2015, and was initially referred to as ECMAScript 6 or ES6. Since then, ECMAScript standards are on yearly release cycles. This documentation refers to the latest draft version, which is currently ECMAScript 2019.

Do not confuse JavaScript with the Java programming language. Both “Java” and “JavaScript” are trademarks or registered trademarks of Oracle in the U.S. and other countries. However, the two programming languages have very different syntax, semantics, and uses.