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Java Script

Tripod's Handcrafted, Vol. 1, No. 7, May 17, 1999 was an introduction to JavaScript, and it's at: "One of the coolest things about JavaScript is that you'll rarely, if ever, have to write your own code. There are a bunch of code libraries scattered all over the Web where you can pick up a pre-written script for just about anything you'd need." The Webmonkey JavaScript code library: is at

In fact, Handcrafted's very next issue was on "borrowing" other people's code. Check it out at:


Website abstraction, - for JavaScript, DHTML, and CSS tutorials free applets and scripts, articles

Try Thau's incredible JavaScript tutorial:

Webmonkey JavaScript Code Library:

Another Take on the Image Rollover:

The Document Object Model:

Doug Mills contributions

There was a great pre-conference institute at TESOL '98 in Seattle on JavaScript given by Doug Mills et al. The URL used at the session was:

Doug Mills has "been working on a site to try to consolidate and expand some of the materials we've developed in JavaScript and supporting/exploring the use of JavaScript at" There's an examples page.

More recently (for WorldCALL, July 1998) Doug has produced an excellent explanation and compilation of what's available in CGI, Java, JavaScript, and XML;

In March 1999, Doug posted the following on CALICO-L: "I just finished creating a "virtual trip" project for our lower-level students here in the Intensive English Institute designed to cause them to negotiate, strategize, etc. in their groups to plan a trip from here to the Grand Canyon within the constraints imposed on them -- it's a one-hour activity and ends with the possibility of printing out their plans for in-class discussion and sending a "postcard" from the Grand Canyon to their teacher... It uses JavaScript extensively for generating random possibilities, record keeping and frames management. It works well on both Navigator 4.5 and Explorer 4.5 for Macs (haven't yet had occasion to try earlier browsers or windows). You can check it out at and feedback is welcome. It was very successful with the one lower-level Oral Communication class we've done it with so far."

There is an excellent tutorial on JavaScript written by Stefan Koch at

Embed feedback forms in your HTML documents through JAVA script submitted by Ronald.

Martin Holmes demonstrates different JavaScript techniques at

Martin Holmes is one of the creators of Hot Potatoes, a Javascript generator that generates code for interactive various exercise templates according to your response to prompts (like type in a few distractors, and such like) but you can alter the code to become creative (like making the text window display another web site, or a video segment, and so on) - (Note: he also makes an excellent marking program called Markin. It makes it very easy to correct assignments submitted in e-mail)

This is from Tim Nall, who was kind enough to invite people like me cut and paste from his posting, 29 Aug 1998, in NETEACH-L digest 27:

For starters, teachers who want to be able to create JavaScript activities WITHOUT learning how to write JavaScript programs can download the freeware Hot Potatoes from Half-Baked Software. With it you can create multiple-choice or true-false quizzes, text-entry or short-answer quizzes, gap-fill exercises, crosswords, and jumbled-sentence exercises. Consequently you can wow your students, impress your boss, win friends and influence people. :)

For those who wish to learn the language:

First keep in mind that most JavaScript (client-side, for the technically picky) is embedded in an HTML document, and can be viewed with your browswer's "View Document Source" option. Make a copy for yourself. Take it home and play with it. Just don't say it's yours.

Language Interactive
[Perhaps the best place for teachers to start. Topics include javascript, CGI, etc. Gives interesting discussions of how these directly relate to teaching. Gives useful examples (including scripts in text form) and tutorials.]

Javascript for the Total Non-Programmer
[A very good second choice for the absolute beginner. This site is somewhat misnamed. It's _slightly_ more difficult than its name would suggest, and unfortunately it elides some crucial basic syntax issues. In its favor, it includes many extremely useful and intuitive "hands-on" examples, and it's downloadable in .zip format for a small fee.]

The WDVL : JavaScript Tutorial for Programmers
[The name says it all. More cogent and detailed than the "Javascript for the Total Non-Programmer" tutorial listed above, but less intuitive. No hands-on examples; not downloadable as a .zip file. It really isn't too difficult, but the style is so similar to "Intro" computer textbooks that probably only people used to this vernacular will feel at home.].

When you finish "Language Interactive" and "JavaScript for the Total Non-Programmer," perhaps it's time to move up to one of these:

ZD University, from the highly reputable Ziff-Davis publishing firm, isn't really a university, but it has online-classes covering a wide range of programming topics, from relatively easier ones such as HTML and JavaScript, to vastly more complex compiled languages such as C++ and Java. The classes are usually in a high-quality question/answer forum format, with excellent and detailed answers from (sometimes well-known) professionals. It's dirt-cheap at $5 U.S. per month. The catch is that you have to buy the required text.. but if you're serious about learning any language (even easier ones), you're probably gonna hafta buy somebody's textbook someday. Books are topnotch. The other catch is that you hafta study. :)

Voodoo's Intro to JavaScript. One of the most famous JavaScript tutorials on the WWW, and for good reason. This site also has FREE downloadable .zip files in HTML and .pdf format -- but unfortunately the separate server where these files are held is very unreliable, in my experience.. Also, there are apparently several different versions of this tutorial posted at different sites on the web (some including download options), but it also seems that there is a vast improvement in both quality and quantity of material between earlier and later versions. Get the latest one at the link above.

Joe Burns, Ph.D., is the author of the superb He's also put together a sister-site, JavaGoodies. This includes hundreds of free scripts in the JavaScript Repository, plus a great set of JavaScript Tutorials. Finally, the whole deal has apparently recently been purchased by, so those resources are within easy reach too.

Also recommended:

Webmonkey has twenty tutorials by my count, and a JavaScript Code Library of cut 'n paste JavaScript functions.

JavaScript Mini-FAQ by Danny Goodman, a leading expert on Dynamic HTML and JavaScript.

What's programming without a little Zen? The Way of JavaScript serves up both in a highly unusual and interesting site. It's as clear as the sound of one hand clapping, grasshopper.

Netscape's own DevEdge JavaScript Guide

A reply: "The hands-on aspect and humor make the WebMonkey my first choice in tutorials. ( In addition, UCLA Extension Online offers a course, JavaScript for Educators. Check it out at (" M. K. Rippberger, English as a Second Language, MiraCosta College

Michael Riccioli says on 05 Nov 1999, teslca-l, that JavaScript Source News - Corp, - will email you the script you select.

From - You can easily put the user's cursor inside a text box (calling giving the text box focus) as soon as the page is loaded. This helps ensure that visitors do not 'overlook' an important form item on your site. Only 1 line of code!

Mark Sellers reports ...

Mark Sellers <>, August 17, 1999, MLI, suggests:

MagicButton,, is a very friendly system for creating Web page Java-based buttons, even if you have no programming knowledge. It's easy to use its tabs to pick colors, text, background images, sounds, and more for the button's up, mouse-over, and clicked behavior, and designate a URL and frame for it. A .wav to .au sound conversion utility is even included. Buttons are sizable and can include a tiled background image or even be transparent .gif files for irregular button sizes. The system can create the code and interactively preview the button(s) in your browser, then you can paste the finalized code into your project. MagicButton is flexible and easy to use and can produce highly professional results. Reviewed on Jun 02 1999.

System Requirements: Windows 95, 98, or NT

Purchase Information: Shareware: Free to try, $10-$30 if you decide to keep it.

SmartScript Pro,, provides a graphical interface for adding Java scripts to your Web pages. It offers an excellent variety of scripts and a built-in text editor so that you can easily add them to your Web pages from within the program interface. One powerful feature involves the creation of JavaScript command buttons. You can add up to 60 buttons to a single script, assigning MouseOut and MouseOver images, text, hyperlinks, and more. You can also assign a background color or image to the field that holds the buttons. Another script lets you conduct Internet searches from more than 20 search engines. Other available scripts let you create and retrieve cookies, add a real-time clock, play MIDI sound files, check browser, and more. A handy internal browser is included to preview results, or you can use an external one. Other features include uppercase/lowercase conversion, search-and-replace, multiple-file support, template support, and more. This well-crafted program is an absolute pleasure to use. Reviewed on May 17 1999.

System Requirements: Windows 95, 98, or NT

Purchase Information: Shareware: Free to try, $19.95 if you decide to keep it.

Mustafa ElSawy, 06 May 1999, says this site "has many tutorials for using Java as well as several ready made scripts that you can copy and use in your pages" - He may be confusing this with Javascript; I'll check it out - ed.


Java is not Javascript. For information on Java, see

Also, check this out:, Home page for the Java Applet Rating Service from EarthWeb. Features a huge collection of reviewed and rated Java applets in a variety of categories, as well as many resources for Java, JavaScript, JavaBeans, ActiveX, VRML, and Perl.

Educational Object Economy

There is a Java site/list for educational purposes at "Its participants, like its rich libraries, are multidisciplinary, and contributions in the language area are "foreign language" oriented rather than EFL/ESL. They even give away the source code of their elegant data base (filemaker pro) driven web site." - Jeff Magoto, March 1999, Teslca-l.

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Last updated: April 13, 2001 in Hot Metal Pro 6.0