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More JavaScript. CSC 521. Browser support. JavaScript works on almost all browsers Internet Explorer uses JScript (referred to in menus as “Active Scripting”), which is Microsoft’s dialect of JavaScript Older browsers don’t support some of the newer features of JavaScript

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browser support
Browser support
  • JavaScript works on almost all browsers
  • Internet Explorer uses JScript (referred to in menus as “Active Scripting”), which is Microsoft’s dialect of JavaScript
  • Older browsers don’t support some of the newer features of JavaScript
    • We will assume modern browser support
what you can t do
What you can’t do
  • To protect the visitor to your web pages, you can’t:
    • Read or write user files
      • However, JScript on IE allows ASP scripting, which is how worms can spread
      • To turn off active scripting in Outlook Express, see
    • Execute any other programs
    • Connect to any other computer, except to download another HTML page or to send e-mail
    • Determine what other sites the user has visited
    • Open a very small (less than 100px by 100px) window or an offscreen window (except in IE)
  • Mozilla/Netscape has much better debugging tools than IE
    • Mozilla
      • Select Tools => Web Development => JavaScript console
    • Netscape 6:
      • Select Tasks => Tools => JavaScript console
    • Netscape 4:
      • Select Communicator => Tools => JavaScript console
    • Any Mozilla or Netscape:
      • Type javascript: in the location bar and press Enter
    • Internet Explorer:
      • Go to the Preferences... dialog and look for something like Web content => Show scripting error alerts
  • After debugging, test your program in IE
    • IE is the most popular browser
  • In JavaScript, all numbers are floating point
  • Special predefined numbers:
    • Infinity, Number.POSITIVE_INFINITY -- the result of dividing a positive number by zero
    • Number.NEGATIVE_INFINITY -- the result of dividing a negative number by zero
    • NaN,Number.NaN (Not a Number) -- the result of dividing 0/0
      • NaN is unequal to everything, even itself
      • There is a global isNaN() function
    • Number.MAX_VALUE -- the largest representable number
    • Number.MIN_VALUE -- the smallest (closest to zero) representable number
strings and characters
Strings and characters
  • In JavaScript, string is a primitive type
  • Strings are surrounded by either single quotes or double quotes
  • There is no “character” type
  • Special characters are:

\0 NUL

\b backspace

\f form feed

\n newline

\r carriage return

\thorizontal tab

\v vertical tab

\' single quote

\" double quote

\\ backslash

\xDD Unicode hex DD

\xDDDD Unicode hex DDDD

some string methods
Some string methods
  • charAt(n)
    • Returns thenth character of a string
  • concat(string1, ..., stringN)
    • Concatenates the string arguments to the recipient string
  • indexOf(substring)
    • Returns the position of the first character of substring in the recipient string, or -1 if not found
  • indexOf(substring, start)
    • Returns the position of the first character of substring in the given string that begins at or after position start, or-1 if not found
  • lastIndexOf(substring), lastIndexOf(substring, start)
    • Like indexOf, but searching starts from the end of the recipient string
more string methods
More string methods
  • match(regexp)
    • Returns an array containing the results, or null if no match is found
    • On a successful match:
      • If g (global) is set, the array contains the matched substrings
      • If g is not set:
        • Array location 0 contains the matched text
        • Locations 1... contain text matched by parenthesized groups
        • The array index property gives the first matched position
  • replace(regexp, replacement)
    • Returns a new string that has the matched substring replaced with the replacement
  • search(regexp)
    • Returns the position of the first matched substring in the given string, or -1 if not found.
  • The boolean values are true and false
  • When converted to a boolean, the following values are also false:
    • 0
    • "0" and '0'
    • The empty string, '' or ""
    • undefined
    • null
    • NaN
undefined and null
undefinedand null
  • There are special values undefined and null
  • undefinedis the only value of its “type”
    • This is the value of a variable that has been declared but not defined, or an object property that does not exist
    • void is an operator that, applied to any value, returns the value undefined
  • null is an “object” with no properties
  • null and undefined are == but not ===
  • As in C and Java, there are no “true” multidimensional arrays
    • However, an array can contain arrays
    • The syntax for array reference is as in C and Java
  • Example:
    • var a = [ ["red", 255], ["green", 128] ];
    • var b = a[1][0]; // b is now "green"
    • var c = a[1]; // c is now ["green", 128]
    • var d = c[1]; // d is now 128
determining types
Determining types
  • The unary operator typeof returns one of the following strings: "number", "string", "boolean", "object", "undefined", and "function"
    • typeof null is "object"
    • If myArray is an array, typeof myArray is "object"
  • To distinguish between different types of objects,
    • myObjectinstanceofConstructor
      • The Constructor should be an object that is a constructor function
      • It is an error if the right-hand side is not an object at all
    • myObject.constructor == Constructor
    • myObject.toString() == "ConstructorName"
wrappers and conversions
Wrappers and conversions
  • JavaScript has “wrapper” objects for when a primitive value must be treated as an object
    • var s = new String("Hello"); // s is now a String
    • var n = new Number(5); // n is now a Number
    • var b = new Boolean(true); // b is now a Boolean
    • Because JavaScript does automatic conversions as needed, wrapper objects are hardly ever needed
  • JavaScript has no “casts,” but conversions can be forced
    • var s = x + ""; // s is now a string
    • var n = x + 0; // n is now a number
    • var b = !!x; // b is now a boolean
    • Because JavaScript does automatic conversions as needed, explicit conversions are hardly ever needed
  • Every variable is a property of an object
  • When JavaScript starts, it creates a global object
  • In client-side JavaScript, the window is the global object
    • It can be referred to as window or as this
    • The “built-in” variables and methods are defined here
  • There can be more than one “global” object
    • For example, one frame can refer to another frame with code such as parent.frames[1]
  • Local variables in a function are properties of a special call object
html names in javascript
HTML names in JavaScript
  • In HTML the window is the global object
    • It is assumed that all variables are properties of this object, or of some object descended from this object
    • The most important window property is document
  • HTML form elements can be referred to by document.forms[formNumber].elements[elementNumber]
  • Every HTML form element has a name attribute
    • The name can be used in place of the array reference
    • Hence, if
      • Then instead of document.forms[0].elements[0]
      • you can say document.myForm.myButton
more about with
More about with
  • with (object) statement;uses the object as the default prefix for variables in the statement
  • As noted earlier, one book hints at mysterious problems resulting from the use of with, and recommends against ever using it
  • It turns out that there are two problems:
    • with is difficult to optimize, hence may be inefficient
    • More importantly, variable declarations and function definitions have odd and counterintuitive behavior
      • The problem appears to be determining if the prefix is used
      • Other types of statements are fine
  • In Java, methods are associated with objects
  • In JavaScript, a function is an object
  • Functions can be recursive:
    • function factorial(n) { if (n <= 1) return 1; else return n * factorial(n - 1);}
  • Functions can be nested:
    • function hypotenuse(a, b) { function square(x) { return x * x; } return Math.sqrt(square(a) + square(b));}
the function constructor
The Function() constructor
  • Since functions are objects, they have a constructor:
    • Function(arg1, arg2, ..., argN, body)
    • All the arguments to the constructor are strings
    • Example: var f = new Function("x", "y", "return x * y;");
  • Notice that the function has no name
    • But you can assign it to a variable and use that name
    • The name can be used to call the function as usual
  • You can construct functions dynamically in JavaScript (they are automatically compiled)
    • However, compilation is computationally expensive
  • Functions defined in this way are always global
function literals
Function literals
  • As we just saw, a function can be defined by means of a constructor:
    • var f = new Function("x", "y", "return x * y;");
  • A function can be written literally, as in the following example:
    • var f = function(x, y) { return x * y; }
    • This function is not necessarily global
  • To write a recursive literal function, give it a name:
    • var f = function fact(n) { if (n <= 1) return n; else return n * fact(n - 1) ; };
    • The name does not persist after the function is created
function names
Function names
  • The “name” of a function is just the variable that holds the function
    • var square = function(x) { return x * x; };
    • var a = square(4); // a now holds 16
    • var b = square; // b now holds square
    • var c = b(5); // c now holds 25
    • var d = [ b ]; // d is an array
    • var e = d[0](6); // e now holds 36
the call object
The call object
  • When a function is called, a new call object is created
    • The properties of the call object include:
      • The function parameters
      • Local variables declared with the var statement
      • The arguments object
  • The arguments object is like an array
    • arguments[n] is a synonym for the nth argument
    • arguments.length is the number of arguments that the function was called with
      • function.length is the number of arguments it was defined with
      • arguments.length, unlikefunction.length, is available only within the function
    • arguments.callee is the function itself
example uses of arguments
Example uses of arguments
  • function max() { var m = Number.NEGATIVE_INFINITY; for (var i = 0; i < arguments.length; i++) { if (arguments[i] > m) m = arguments[i]; } return m;}
  • function(n) { if (n <= 1) return 1; return n * arguments.callee(n - 1);}
  • When a function is a property of an object, we call it a “method”
    • A method can be invoked by either ofcall(object, arg1, ..., argN) orapply(object, [arg1, ..., argN])
    • call and applyare defined for all functions
      • call takes any number of arguments
      • apply takes an array of arguments
    • Both allow you to invoke a function as if it were a method of some other object, object
    • Inside the function, the keyword this refers to the object
properties of functions
Properties of functions
  • Since a function is an object, you can add properties to it
    • Function properties are often a good alternative to global variables
    • Example:
      • uniqueInteger.counter = 0;
      • function uniqueInteger() { return uniqueInteger.counter++;}
    • Function properties are a bit like static variables in Java