How do Java and Javascript relate?

How do Java and Javascript relate?

By Leo Notenboom

As you know, there is much talk on the web about the latest Java vulnerability, presumably coming from China. As I use Java a lot (being a non-geek !!) and that this is rumored to be quite serious, I would like your opinion on the matter. The usual remedy on the web is either to uninstall/disable Java altogether!

When I did this, however, I found that a lot lot of my favorite websites just did not function (at least not fully!). In particular, my online crosswords which I really like. So then as I use Firefox exclusively, I downloaded no-script (can remember that you use it yourself from previous article) and have used it sparingly (no whitelist’s as yet).

That’s actually just one example of several questions that I received this week relating to a recently discovered zero-day exploit of an unpatched vulnerability in Java. My understanding is that a fix is now available, but the scenario has brought to light something very important:

Many people confuse Java and Javascript.

Java is not Javascript. In fact, other than the first four characters of their names, Javascript and Java are not related to each other at all.

Let’s look at each and why in situations like this it’s so critical to understand that there is a difference.

Disclaimer: I’ll definitely be over-simplifying here. The pesky details and the nuances aren’t really that critical and I don’t want them to distract from the main issue.


Javasscript is a programming language that is supported natively by most modern web browsers. That means that the browsers come with the means to understand and execute Javascript using what’s called an “interpreter.”

Programs or “scripts” written in Javascript are often contained directly in the HTML pages in which they are used. View the source of even this article on the Ask Leo! website and you’ll see a few snippets of Javascript used for various purposes.

Javascript enables richly interactive web pages, turning them from static displays of text and pictures into small applications capable of often impressive functionality. Sites like Gmail, Facebook, and others use Javascript to display, animate, and change content without requiring you to visit a new “page” for each change. Scroll down your Facebook wall and it’s Javascript that keeps downloading and adding more content to the page the further you scroll.

“Javascript and Java are not related to each other at all.”
Javascript has become so popular and so prevalent in web design that it’s difficult to use many sites without it.

Read the rest of the story here..

This post is excerpted with permission from Leo Notenboom.

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