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About this Book

JavaScript is Netscape's cross-platform, object-based scripting language for client and server applications. This book is a reference manual for the JavaScript language, including both core and client-side JavaScript.

This preface contains the following sections:

New Features in this Release

For a summary of JavaScript 1.3 features, see "New Features in this Release" on page 3. Information on these features has been incorporated in this manual.

What You Should Already Know

This book assumes you have the following basic background:

Some programming experience with a language such as C or Visual Basic is useful, but not required.

JavaScript Versions

Each version of Navigator supports a different version of JavaScript. To help you write scripts that are compatible with multiple versions of Navigator, this manual lists the JavaScript version in which each feature was implemented.

The following table lists the JavaScript version supported by different Navigator versions. Versions of Navigator prior to 2.0 do not support JavaScript.

Table 1 JavaScript and Navigator versions
JavaScript version Navigator version

JavaScript 1.0

Navigator 2.0

JavaScript 1.1

Navigator 3.0

JavaScript 1.2

Navigator 4.0-4.05

JavaScript 1.3

Navigator 4.06-4.5

Each version of the Netscape Enterprise Server also supports a different version of JavaScript. To help you write scripts that are compatible with multiple versions of the Enterprise Server, this manual uses an abbreviation to indicate the server version in which each feature was implemented.

Table 2 JavaScript and Netscape Enterprise Server versions
Abbreviation Enterpriser Server version

NES 2.0

Netscape Enterprise Server 2.0

NES 3.0

Netscape Enterprise Server 3.0

Where to Find JavaScript Information

The client-side JavaScript documentation includes the following books:

If you are new to JavaScript, start with the Client-Side JavaScript Guide. Once you have a firm grasp of the fundamentals, you can use the Client-Side JavaScript Reference to get more details on individual objects and statements.

If you are developing a client-server JavaScript application, use the material in the client-side books to familiarize yourself with core and client-side JavaScript. Then, use the Server-Side JavaScript Guide and Server-Side JavaScript Reference for help developing a server-side JavaScript application.

DevEdge, Netscape's online developer resource, contains information that can be useful when you're working with JavaScript. The following URLs are of particular interest:

Document Conventions

Occasionally this book tells you where to find things in the user interface of Navigator. In these cases, the book describes the user interface in Navigator 4.5. The interface may be different in earlier versions of the browser.

JavaScript applications run on many operating systems; the information in this book applies to all versions. File and directory paths are given in Windows format (with backslashes separating directory names). For Unix versions, the directory paths are the same, except that you use slashes instead of backslashes to separate directories.

This book uses uniform resource locators (URLs) of the following form:

In these URLs, server represents the name of the server on which you run your application, such as research1 or www; domain represents your Internet domain name, such as or; path represents the directory structure on the server; and file.html represents an individual file name. In general, items in italics in URLs are placeholders and items in normal monospace font are literals. If your server has Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) enabled, you would use https instead of http in the URL.

This book uses the following font conventions:

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Last Updated: 05/28/99 11:58:56

Copyright (c) 1999 Netscape Communications Corporation