Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

JavaScript Javascript and HTML help

  1. Jan 3, 2014 #1
    Does anyone know anything about JavaScript and/or HTML? I'm just really interested but I don't know where to start... If you are asking what for, then I want to learn to develop my own website or social network... (The social network doesn't have to be like Facebook, just for my own purposes, with family in another country) ok so, how do I start??? Right now... I'm getting no where...
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 3, 2014 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Buy "HTML for dummies", if that's really what you want to do but be aware that most people do NOT learn much HTML these days because there are web-site-building tools that make it much easier if you want to do anything half-way fancy. Certainly, I don't think anyone uses straight HTML to do anything like a social network site --- too complicated and much easier to do with modern tools.

    You should learn HTML before you try javascript, and be aware that HTML is a very simple straight-forward "markup language" whereas javascript is a programming lanaguage. The differences are enormous. You don't need to know any programming techniques for HTML because it is not a programming language, but you do for javascript.

    I have build several web sites using just HTML but I'm old school and they look a bit clunky by today's standards. Check out, for example:

  4. Jan 4, 2014 #3
    Thanks :) I will do whatever it takes to learn though, even if it is complicated, we need more and more programmers and there will be more jobs than employees.. So yeah, I want to learn as much as I can. Besides, I like the feeling you get when you accomplish something and not use "shortcuts" for it. Wouldn't you?
  5. Jan 4, 2014 #4
  6. Jan 4, 2014 #5
  7. Jan 5, 2014 #6

    Yes I know that JS is a programming language and HTML is not. :-/ don't you think I would need to know the difference before starting to learn? Ok never mind, thanks for this Xx
  8. Jan 6, 2014 #7
    There is much interplay between HTML/CSS and JS. The important things to learn are:

    The DOM (Document Object Model). When you manipulate HTML with JS, you need to understand the DOM. It defines the structure of the page.

    CSS. CSS is what you use to define the 'look' of HTML. From simple things, like font size and colour, to complicated things, like how elements flow on the page.

    JS, like any programming language, can get very complicated, but you can do a lot with a little. Work on the basics - defining variables, the different data types, functions and basic logic.

    For a development environment, I would recommend the following:

    A 'good' browser (like Firefox or Chrome). Internet Explorer is ... fine, but you're better off learning with browsers that make a half-decent attempt at adhering to standards. IE is a dog of a thing, they just do what they want and you always need 'special' JS, it's very painful to get things working well in those 3 major browsers, and that's not counting Safari and Opera.

    A nice web developer plugin. Firebug for Firefox is great, it gives you a JS console and debugging tools. Chrome has a lot of this stuff built in. Learn to love the JS console! Learn to right click and 'inspect element'. For what it's worth, IE has a developer console too.

    A good text editor. Notepad is not a good text editor! Get your hands on something that supports syntax highlighting and gives you a bit of a hand with formatting. I quite like Sublime Text, but there are literally thousands of others. Vim and Emacs are the old stalwarts but they take some learning.

    Above all, have fun, JS is a fun language to learn, you can put things together quickly and get feedback on how it works quickly - you don't have to compile your program etc ... Ask questions, find some good websites like HTML5Rocks, Mozilla Developer Network, Google Developer Something, there's A LOT out there for aspiring web developers. :)
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
  9. Jan 6, 2014 #8
    I started when I was 15, I built a website on Angelfire (back in like 1997). Build yourself a simple webpage using their simple builder, always watch and read the HTML code when you change or add something... you will begin to see how HTML/CSS/Java works.

Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook