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***FAQ*** comp.lang.javascript meta FAQ - v1.3 - 98/07/13

Archive-Name: computer-lang/java/javascript
Last-modified: Jul 13, 1998
Version: 1.3
Maintainer: Christopher Thompson <>
Posting-Frequency: weekly (every Monday) to *.answers, daily (!) to comp.lang.javascript

                       comp.lang.javascript meta-FAQ
Table of Contents

   Sections changed since the last version are now marked with a '*'.
     * 1 meta-FAQ meta-questions
     * 2 comp.lang.javascript tips
          + 2.1 Which newsgroup deals with JavaScript?
          + 2.2 What questions are off-topic for clj?
          + 2.3 Why did I get flamed when I posted to clj? What do I have
            to do before posting to clj?
          + 2.4 Why was my post not answered?
          + 2.5 How do I direct someone to this FAQ?
          + 2.6 What is JScript? ECMAScript?
          + 2.7 What is the document object model?
          + 2.8 I have a question that is not answered in here or in any
            of the resources mentioned here but I'm sure it has been
            answered in clj. Where are the clj archives located?
     * 3 JavaScript resources
          + 3.1 What books cover JavaScript?
          + * 3.2 What online resources are available?
     * 4 Contributors
     * 5 * Further expansion
1.0 meta-FAQ meta-questions

   You are reading the comp.lang.javascript meta-FAQ, version 1.3.
   This is the official comp.lang.javascript (clj) FAQ. Or, more
   accurately, the meta-FAQ as it only provides URLs to further
   information about JavaScript and some hints and tips to make your stay
   in comp.lang.javascript more enjoyable. This document is not intended
   as a JavaScript tutorial or reference guide. There is already plenty
   of this sort of information on the web.
   This document was created to help reduce the high levels of noise on
   clj and to provide a resource for people new to JavaScript or who want
   to know locations of valuable JavaScript resources.
   If you have a question you feel should be answered in the meta-FAQ, a
   correction for information included in this document, or wish to note
   a URL not included herein, please email the meta-FAQ maintainer,
   Christopher Thompson, at
   The meta-FAQ will be posted to clj, in text form, once a day until
   such a time as the regulars feel it can be posted less frequently. It
   is also available at
   html. Note that the HTML version is preferred. The conversion from
   HTML to plain-text strips out some formatting and is therefore harder
   to read.
2.0 comp.lang.javascript tips

2.1 Which newsgroup deals with JavaScript?

   comp.lang.javascript is the official Usenet newsgroup dealing with
   JavaScript. There are other newsgroups but many of them are not
   carried by most news feeds. clj is an unmoderated newsgroup.
2.2 What questions are off-topic for clj?

   clj deals primarily with client-side JavaScript, running under a
   browser. Server-side JavaScript questions are also welcome but you
   should note explicitly in your post that your question deals with
   server-side scripting.
   JavaScript and Java are two completely different languages. Java
   questions should be asked in one of the* newsgroups;
   they are not appropriate for clj.
   Questions dealing with other scripting languages, such as VBScript,
   PerlScript or CGI scripting are also off-topic, as are HTML-only
2.3 Why did I get flamed when I posted to clj? What do I have to do before
posting to clj?

   Before posting to clj, you should thoroughly read this document. You
   should also thoroughly read the resources mentioned in section 3. And
   you should read all appropriate posts to the clj newsgroup for several
   days. Most questions come up at least once every other day and people
   get sick of answering them repeatedly.
   Please state your question as clearly and concisely as possible, as
   this will make it far easier for the other readers of the list to
   understand your problems and suggest possible solutions.
   Has the same question already been posted that day? It is okay to ask
   again with your particular information, but indicate that you have
   seen the previous question and tell how yours differs.
   Include the script you have been working on (or URL) - indicate the
   problem spots and/or previous attempts. Try to limit the length of
   your post by removing extraneous page elements, but avoid removing
   script unless you are sure it is not an issue.
   Post in plain-text only. Do not post using HTML. If you have to
   include your script, paste it in to your post in plain-text, do not
   uuencode it or attach it using mime.
   Don't ask, or at least expect, to be emailed individually. Some
   individuals run scams for the purpose of collecting active email
   addresses and many won't risk being victimized. If you have
   circumstances that won't allow you to read clj for the follow-up,
   explain what they are and ask to be CC'ed a copy. You also might try
   one of the sites listed in section 3 to read any follow-ups.
   Don't take flames too seriously. And don't start a thread complaining
   about rude or flippant responses, there is already enough noise in
   clj. Keep a sense of humour while posting and reading and everything
   will be a lot more enjoyable.
    2.4 Why was my post not answered?
   This could be for several reasons:
     * it was a variation of a frequently asked question and was
       therefore ignored by everyone
     * no one knows the answer
     * the person with the answer has not seen the post
     * it might not be possible to do what you want to do but perhaps
       readers of clj are reluctant to answer your post in the negative
       when they are not convinced that it cannot be done.
2.5 How do I direct someone to this FAQ?

   This document is posted to clj very frequently. There should be no
   reason to direct someone to it. However, if someone asks a question
   answered in this FAQ or in one of the resources listed herein, please
   let them know their question is answered in the FAQ and that the FAQ
   can be found at
2.6 What is JScript? ECMAScript?

   JScript is Microsoft's implementation of JavaScript. ECMAScript is the
   international standard for JavaScript. The 4.x browsers are more or
   less ECMAScript compliant. Note that ECMAScript did not attempt to
   standardize the document object model.
2.7 What is the document object model?

   Strictly speaking the document object model (DOM) is not a part of
   JavaScript. This is the collection of objects provided by each browser
   that allows JavaScript to actually be a useful language. Basically,
   any object in the window hierarchy is part of the DOM. This means that
   document.writeln(), for example, is not a JavaScript method but is, in
   fact, a method provided by the DOM. Although there is an attempt in
   progress to standardize the DOM, this has not yet happened. Most
   cross-browser coding problems come from slightly different
   implementations of the DOM in the different browsers.
2.8 I have a question that is not answered in here or in any of the
resources mentioned here but I'm sure it has been answered in clj. Where are
the clj archives located? maintains a Usenet archive site. Tens of
   thousands of clj posts are archived there. also maintains a Usenet archive.
3.0 JavaScript resources

3.1 What books cover JavaScript?

   There are rather a lot of JavaScript books available. In general, clj
   regulars recommend Danny Goodman's JavaScript Bible, now in third
   edition (more information available at or
   O'Reilly's JavaScript: The Definitive Guide (more information
   available at Either book should answer
   almost all of your questions and is well worth the money. Make sure
   you buy the most recent edition.
3.2 What online resources are available?

     * This is an exhaustive JavaScript
       FAQ and is the reason this document is an meta-FAQ, not a FAQ.
       More than 90% of questions posted to clj are already answered in
       here. Don't post until you read this.
     * There is a much shorter JavaScript FAQ
       here which is also worth checking out.
       Netscape's JavaScript handbook. If you are developing for NN2 or
       MSIE 3, ignore any features marked as implemented in NN3. This is
       a good online reference to JavaScript.
       guide/js1_2.htm The JavaScript 1.2 reference guide, for NN4
     * Microsoft's scripting site.
       Unfortunately, this only covers the most recent version JScript.
     * *, Kathleen's Little Page of
       JavaScript Resources.
     * *, an excellent forum for JavaScript
       (and many other) questions.
     * Archived
       documentation for MSIE 3.x.
     *, the official ECMAScript
     * *, the source code to
       Netscape's browser.
     *, a free
       implementation of ECMAScript in Java.
     * and
       archive Usenet newsgroups.
       t.html, frequently asked questions about source code obfuscation.
     * *, a wonderful resource for Active
       Server Pages, something not covered in this meta-FAQ at all.
4.0 Contributors

   Thanks to the following contributors, in alphabetical order:
     * Kathleen Fetner (, for
       her Small Page of JavaScript Resources
     * Heidi Housten (,
       for maintaining the MSIE 3.x documentation.
     * Eric Lippert ( for representing Microsoft in
       clj and for writing the frequently asked questions about source
       code obfuscation.
     * Jean-Marc Lugrin (, for writing the ECMAScript
       interpretor in Java.
     * Jason Olmsted (, for the prototype version of this
     * Mike Shaver ( for unofficially representing
       Netscape in clj.
     * Catherine Skidmore (, for being the Queen of clj.
     * Christopher Thompson (, for maintaining this
     * Stuart Updegrave ( for proof-reading this
     * Martin Webb ( for maintaining the best
       JavaScript FAQ site I've seen and also for suggesting changes to
       this document.
     * Everyone else I haven't mentioned who has helped me grasp
5.0 Further Expansion

   * I may expand the meta-FAQ to provide quick answers to the most
   commonly asked clj questions. Essentially all the information will be
   available elsewhere but this will provide a sort of "crib-sheet" to
   get people started. I have absolutely no intention of replacing the
   excellent online FAQs and tutorials, however. Please email me your
   opinions of this.

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