Javascript FAQ

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What is JavaScript?

JavaScript is a scripting language widely used for client-side web development. It is also known by a number of other names including ECMAScript, and JScript (these are all the same thing but exist due to issues over the licensing of these names).

If you have a spare 27 minutes and would like a quick background on JavaScript and it's origins, see this video from Douglas Crockford 'JSeverywhere: Douglas Crockford - JavaScript, The World's Most Misunderstood Language'.

Where do I find general information about JavaScript?

Online resources:

Books:

How is JavaScript used by Moodle?

Where do I find more information about JavaScript in Moodle?

What JavaScript library does Moodle use?

JQuery

As of Moodle 2.9, jQuery is the preferred javascript library. Most of the code is still using YUI though as we are only beginning to transition to jQuery.

Online resources:

Books:

Yahoo! User Interface Library (YUI)

Until Moodle 2.9, the Yahoo! User Interface Library (YUI) was the preferred javascript library. From Moodle 2.9 onwards, jQuery is the preferred javascript library.

Online resources:

Books:

Why are we moving away from YUI ?

The decision to begin the transition from YUI to JQuery was made here:

https://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-47036

This is in response to Yahoos announcement that they will be ceasing all further development on YUI (although it is still maintained). http://yahooeng.tumblr.com/post/96098168666/important-announcement-regarding-yui

What does AJAX mean?

AJAX means "Asynchronous JavaScript and XML". It is a group of interrelated web development techniques used to create interactive web applications or rich Internet applications. Although XML is included in the acronym, AJAX is not a single technology but a group of technologies. In reality with modern JS, this tends to be JSON which is much more lightweight and easy to produce in PHP than XML.

See AJAX (Wikipedia) for general information and AJAX for information on AJAX and Moodle.

See also Firebug > Debugging AJAX with Firebug.

See also