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This glossary defines terms useful in understanding JavaScript applications.


American Standard Code for Information Interchange. Defines the codes used to store characters in computers.


Binary large object. The format of binary data stored in a relational database.


Common Gateway Interface. A specification for communication between an HTTP server and gateway programs on the server. CGI is a popular interface used to create server-based web applications with languages such as Perl or C.


A web browser, such as Netscape Navigator.

client-side JavaScript

Core JavaScript plus extensions that control a browser (Navigator or another web browser) and its DOM. For example, client-side extensions allow an application to place elements on an HTML form and respond to user events such as mouse clicks, form input, and page navigation. See also core JavaScript, server-side JavaScript.


A mechanism by which the Navigator client can store small items of information on the client machine.


Common Object Request Broker Architecture. A standard endorsed by the OMG (Object Management Group), the Object Request Broker (ORB) software that handles the communication between objects in a distributed computing environment.

core JavaScript

The elements common to both client-side and server-side JavaScript. Core JavaScript contains a core set of objects, such as Array, Date, and Math, and a core set of language elements such as operators, control structures, and statements. See also client-side JavaScript, server-side JavaScript.


To discourage use of a feature without removing the feature from the product. When a JavaScript feature is deprecated, an alternative is typically recommended; you should no longer use the deprecated feature because it might be removed in a future release.


European Computer Manufacturers Association. The international standards association for information and communication systems.


A standardized, international programming language based on core JavaScript. This standardization version of JavaScript behaves the same way in all applications that support the standard. Companies can use the open standard language to develop their implementation of JavaScript. See also core JavaScript.

external function

A function defined in a native library that can be used in a JavaScript application.


Hypertext Markup Language. A markup language used to define pages for the World Wide Web.


Hypertext Transfer Protocol. The communication protocol used to transfer information between web servers and clients.

IP address

A set of four numbers between 0 and 255, separated by periods, that specifies a location for the TCP/IP protocol.

JavaScript console

A window that displays all JavaScript error messages. When a JavaScript error occurs, the error message is directed to the JavaScript console. You can specify whether to display or suppress the JavaScript console.


Lets Java and JavaScript code communicate with each other. From JavaScript, you can instantiate Java objects and access their public methods and fields. From Java, you can access JavaScript objects, properties, and methods.


Multipart Internet Mail Extension. A standard specifying the format of data transferred over the internet.

Netscape cookie protocol

Netscape's format for specifying the parameters of a cookie in the HTTP header.

primitive value

Data that is directly represented at the lowest level of the language. A JavaScript primitive value is a member of one of the following types: undefined, null, Boolean, number, or string. The following examples show some primitive values.
a=true               // Boolean primitive value
b=42                 // number primitive value
c="Hello world"      // string primitive value
if (x==undefined) {} // undefined primitive value
if (x==null) {}      // null primitive value

server-side JavaScript

Core JavaScript plus extensions relevant only to running JavaScript on a server. For example, server-side extensions allow an application to communicate with a relational database, provide continuity of information from one invocation to another of the application, or perform file manipulations on a server. See also client-side JavaScript, core JavaScript.

static method or property

A method or property of a built-in object that cannot be a property of instances of the object. For example, you can instantiate new instances of the Date object. Some methods of Date, such as getHours and setDate, are also methods of instances of the Date object. Other methods of Date, such as parse and UTC, are static, so instances of Date do not have these methods.


Universal Resource Locator. The addressing scheme used by the World Wide Web.


World Wide Web

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Last Updated: 11/06/98 10:47:39

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