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The JavaScript We All Need to Know

October 28, 2010

This might reflect what I bring to the class more than the actual curriculum, but I think of our work thus far as primarily a course in programming. That said, as information professionals who are now capable of hand coding websites, we don’t have the luxury of just thinking about functionality in a limited back end way. Part of how our information sites function, be they public library or corporate intranet pages, is that they are useful to their users. And design is a key element of usability. As such, we are also learning to be web designers, something I think we practice every day as we use others’ sites and recognize what works and what doesn’t, as well as every week as we make new pages.

I was really interested in the functionality made possible by JavaScript and Derek’s convincing arguments that even as novice programmers we at least need to be aware of what is possible using this language. I found this posting that I think does a good job highlighting some key bits of JavaScript and bridging the connection between functionality and design.

I realize we’re not all going to be career programmers and web designers after this course, but as our jobs will inevitably involve the Internet, we must at very least be comfortable and able to navigate this world. It will only help us in serving others.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. toverduin permalink
    October 29, 2010 2:44 am

    You bring up a good point about the flexibility, functionality, and accessibility Javascript allows on the internet. While it is a great tool, it also seems like a great danger, though. Javascript can often lead to viruses and other computer malfunctions, which is why many people surf the web without it turned on. As information professionals who see both the opportunities and dangers presented by this program, we need to push the development of Javascript (and programs like it) that will allow further flexibility while not posing such a great threat to a user’s system.

  2. Dora Mitchell permalink
    October 29, 2010 12:01 pm

    Thanks for sharing this article, Sharon– JavaScript is one of the things I feel most shaky about my understanding of right now so I’m glad to read more about it. I completely agree with your points about how important what we’re learning about web design is to making sites that are functional as information sources. If the design of a site is too poor, then it doesn’t matter how good the information it contains is, you just don’t want to spend your time figuring out how to navigate it.

  3. Marian Ramage permalink
    October 29, 2010 12:11 pm

    Hey Dora,

    I second your comments! I’m going to have to Java Script info more fine-tooth-comb reading to get more comfortable with it.

    Good points Sharon, thanks for the article.


  4. cfolk permalink
    October 29, 2010 10:24 pm

    Great, another page I need to bookmark! Web development is such a huge area of knowledge with so many facets that it is hard to decide what to study next. This will be a good intro/refresher for when I dive into JavaScript. Thanks for the find.

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