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Course Description

This course introduces students to basic programming concepts through the use of ECMAScript (JavaScript) and the Document Object Model. Students will learn the history ECMAScript, and its role in contemporary websites and web applications. Basic and intermediate scripts will be created to solve common interface problems. Students will learn to evaluate existing libraries and scripts so that they can make informed decisions about their applicability for a given task. Students will learn best practice, unobtrusive DOM Scripting techniques.


Students should have taken Web design 1 or have comparable knowledge. Students should also have or be in the process of acquiring some knowledge of forms in (X)HTML. Since form handling comes very close to the end of this course, it can be taken in parallel to Web design 2. If the students lack any previous programming skills, this course must be longer and teach general programming applied with ECMAScript. If students have basic programming skills, they only need to know how ECMAScript differs from other languages in syntax and features and the focus can rapidly shift towards programming for the web, the DOM and JavaScript as an added usability layer for web applications.

Recommended Textbook(s)

  • Yank, Kevin and Adams, Cameron. Simply JavaScript. Collingwood, Australia: Sitepoint, 2007. Primary suggestion for courses where no previous programming experience is required.
  • Koch, Peter-Paul. PPK on JavaScript. Indianapolis: New Riders, 2006. Primary suggestion for courses where some programming experience is expected.

Recommended Reading


Web standards, best practice perspective

Browser support


Technologies Required

  • Browser with debugger. E.g. Firefox with Firebug
  • Editor or IDE
  • Server with server side scripting support for testing and AJAX. (Usually provided by the teacher.)
  • JSlint (can be done on-line)

The JavaScript Shell (usually provided by the teacher) is also recommended.