JavaScript
CS 268
Topics
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Introduction to JavaScript
Positioning a script
Variables
Type conversions
Concatenation
HTML forms
Document Object Model
Functions
Form Validation
Debugging
Stuff...
What is JavaScript all about?
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Small program
Runs in the client browser
Typical uses:
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Perform simple calculations on existing Web page data
Perform error checking on user inputs in HTML form elements
Manipulate data that the developer embeds in the HTML
document
Create and read cookies
Control the appearance of the current Web
How a Script Works
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Scripts are interpreted
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Source code translated to machine language one line at a
time each time script is run
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Actually it's more complicated than that – browsers today have hybrid
JavaScript implementations that compile some of the code and
where required interpret some of it.
Can write with any text editor
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But – it's a "lot" easier if the editor provides color coding and code
completion support!
JavaScript and Object Oriented Programming
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JavaScript supports OO programming including inheritance
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It also supports try/catch error handling
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We aren't going to cover this
But – with code to detect user entry errors this shouldn't be needed
You can learn more about JavaScript OO from the following
two links (not required for this class)
http://www.javascriptkit.com/javatutors/oopjs.shtml
http://www.crockford.com/javascript/inheritance.html
Adding Javascript to a Web Page
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Add the script tag anywhere in the Web page body
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Place the tag where you want the script to execute
Add the script commands within the script tags
<script language="JavaScript" type="text/javascript">
first script command
second script command
…
</script>
Shortening the initial script tag to this is acceptable and
recommended:
<script>
Browsers default to language="JavaScript" type=text/javascript if you omit these attributes
http://www.javascriptkit.com/javatutors/languageattri.shtml
Topics
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Introduction to JavaScript
Positioning a script
Variables
Type conversions
Concatenation
HTML forms
Document Object Model
Functions
Form Validation
Debugging
Stuff...
When does the script execute?
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If commands are not contained within a function, they execute
in sequence as the page is loaded into the browser
If contained within a function the commands do not execute
until explicitly called by clicking a button (or other event)
Where can you place a script?
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This is okay where it is normally placed if written in the
html file (most other locations also work):
<html>
<head>
<script>
alert("Hello");
</script>
<title>Hello Page Title</title>
</head>
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Don’t do this (you can come up with other places it won't
work):
<html><head>
<title>Hello Page Title
<script>
alert("Hello");
</script>
</title>
What will the alert display when this script runs?
A – The alert will display
Last name is: Smith
B – The alert will display
Last name is:
C – The alert won't be displayed
D – No idea…
Affects of script location
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Can’t access a page object until it has loaded. For example this won’t work:
<script>
alert("The default employee last name is: " +
document.frmEmployee.txtLastname.value);
</script>
<form name="frmEmployee">
<!-- initialize the last name to Smith -->
<input name="txtLastname" value="Smith">
</form>
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But this will work:
<form name="frmEmployee">
<!-- initialize the last name to Smith -->
<input name="txtLastname" value="Smith">
</form>
<script>
alert("The default employee last name is: " +
document.frmEmployee.txtLastname.value);
</script>
Topics
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Introduction to JavaScript
Positioning a script
Variables
Type conversions
Concatenation
HTML forms
Document Object Model
Functions
Form Validation
Debugging
Stuff...
JavaScript Data Types
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JavaScript is a loosely-typed language
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You don't declare the data type when you declare the variable
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The variable assumes the "correct" data type when you
assign a value to it
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The language "usually" converts a variable value to the
correct data type when you perform operations on it
Data Types
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JavaScript types
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Boolean
Number
Object
String
Date
(true, false)
(10, -3.31)
(document.frmForm1.txtInput)
("Now is the time")
(12/4/2009)
Data Types?
The previous slide said it is "loosely typed"
Data Types
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JavaScript variables assume the data type of
whatever is assigned to them:
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var name = "Hello";
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var whatever = 12;
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name is a string
whatever is a number
var whatever = "Something";
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whatever is a string
Using var to declare variables
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Don't have to use var
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But if you don't you can get some unexpected
behavior – I'll show this in class
Use var to get the usual (like Java) scoping of variables!
Using var to declare variables
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Improved
Try catch another possibility (but the upper solution is better):
What happens now when the user
assigns a name and then tries to
display it?
JavaScript Objects
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Variables (and constants) are also Objects
Objects can do more than store a value
Examples of object operations:
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String
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Number
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determine length of string
convert to upper/lowercase letters
convert to fixed number of places after the decimal point
Date
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finding the current date/time from the system clock
Example of String Object Properties & Methods
Property or
Method
Description
Example
Result
length
Returns the
length of a
text string
var myString = new String();
myString = "Joline";
var strLength = myString.length;
6
toLowerCase
Converts a
string to
lowercase
letters
var myString = new String();
myString = "Joline";
var strLowerCase = myString.toLowerCase();
"joline"
toUpperCase
Converts a
string to
uppercase
letters
var myString = new String();
myString = "Joline";
var strUpperCase = myString.toUpperCase();
"JOLINE"
Example of Number Object Properties & Methods
Property or
Method
Description
toFixed
Rounds a
number to a
specified
number of
decimal places
Example
var myNumber = 3.14157;
var myRoundedNumber = myNumber.toFixed(3);
Result
3.142
Example of Date Object Properties & Methods
Property or
Method
Description
Example
getFullYear()
Returns the current
four-digit year
var myDate = new Date();
var CurrentYear = myDate.getFullYear();
getMonth()
Returns the current
month, as a number
from 0-11
var myDate = new Date();
var CurrentMonth = myDate.getMonth();
getDate()
Returns the current
day of the month, from
1-31
var myDate = new Date();
var CurrentDate = myDate.getDate();
getHours(),
getMinutes(),
getSeconds()
Returns the current
hour (0-23), minute (059), or second (0-59)
var myDate = new Date();
var CurrentHour = myDate.getHours();
Warning
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Declaring a variable using new won't prevent
the variable from automatically converting to
any data type assigned to it!
Displaying the Current Date
<html><head><title>Methods</title></head>
Date objects have to
<body>
be created using new
<script>
var today = new Date();
var weekFromToday = new Date(today.getFullYear(),
today.getMonth(),
today.getDate() + 7);
alert("Today's date is: " + today + "\n" +
"A week from today is: " + weekFromToday);
</script>
</body></html>
Tip: you can get code help for Date in Dreamweaver by entering Date(
and looking at the help popuped up above it.
If not shown try pressing ctrl-spacebar to display it
Notice it has 4 constructors…
Displaying the Current Date in short format
Use today.getMonth today.getDate, and today.getFullYear
Example - replace today in the previous slide's alert with:
(today.getMonth() + 1) + "/" + today.getDate() + "/" + today.getFullYear()
Add similar code using weekFromToday
Why is today.getMonth() + 1 inside parentheses? Try removing them and see what happens.
Why am I adding 1 to today.getMonth()?
Topics
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Introduction to JavaScript
Positioning a script
Variables
Type conversions
Concatenation
HTML forms
Document Object Model
Functions
Form Validation
Debugging
Stuff...
Data Type Conversions
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All HTML form input values are text strings
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What if you need to change a value to a number?
Motivations:
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Determine if an input number value is within a specific range
Perform an addition operation on a form input
JavaScript Conversion Functions
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Converting a string to a number
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parseInt(): converts a string to a number, and removes any
fractional values
parseFloat(): converts a string to a number, and includes
any fractional values
Examples:
document.frmForm1.txtResult.value = parseInt(value1)
+ parseInt(value2);
document.frmForm1.txtResult.value = parseFloat(value1) + parseFloat(value2);
Code help for parseInt and parseFloat
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In Dreamweaver Code view within script element
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press Ctrl – Spacebar at the same time
Type the letters you 'think' the command begins with (and/or
scroll up and down to view options):
Converting Numbers to Strings
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Concatenate number to an empty string
Example:
var myNumber = 13;
myNumber = myNumber + "";
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myNumber is now a String
Concatenating Number Values and String Values
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+ is an overloaded operator in JavaScript
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What if you combine strings and numbers in the
same operation?
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used for both addition and concatenation
add 2 numbers: result is a number
add a string to a number: result is a string
add a number to a string: result is a string
If an operand on either side of the + is a string, the
result is a string
Given the following variable declarations, what is displayed by each
JavaScript alert?
var input1 =
var input2 =
var input3 =
alert(input1
alert(input3
alert(input1
alert(input1
"15";
10.4;
5;
+ input2 + input3); ______________________
+ input2 + input1); ______________________
+ (input2 + input3));______________________
* input3);
______________________
Topics
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Introduction to JavaScript
Positioning a script
Variables
Type conversions
Concatenation
HTML forms
Document Object Model
Functions
Form Validation
Debugging
Stuff...
HTML Forms
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Enhanced HTML documents that allow users to enter
inputs onto Web pages using common interface controls
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Text inputs, radio buttons, command buttons, etc.
When the user submits the Web page, the form passes
the input values to the Web server
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Input values are called parameters
Values are passed to the server in a parameter list
Creating a Form
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form tag attributes:
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name: identifies the form internally within the Web page
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Example: name="customer"
Form ID: newer syntax for identifying a form. If used, the name attribute and id
should be the same
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Example: id="customer" name="customer"
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action: specifies the action the Web server performs with the form parameter list
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Usually involves calling a script or program that runs on the Web server (not
in the user’s browser like JavaScript)
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method: how the Web server processes the parameters
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GET: passes the parameters as a list on the URL
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POST: sends the parameters directly to the receiving program
Confusion between id and name attributes
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The id attribute (for example: id="one") can be added to any HTML element.
<table id="data"> including form and input tags
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An element identified by a tag can be referenced in JavaScript using the
document.getElementById method:
document.getElementByID("data")
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This can allow modifying just about any aspect of a page's appearance using JavaScript
In addition, if a style sheet is linked to the page, id's can apply id styles to an element
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Form tags and form element tags (input, select and textarea) allow using the
name attribute.
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Names identify inputs to be sent to a Web server and can be used to access
form input values using JavaScript. For example JavaScript accessing an input
value might be:
document.formName.inputName.value
And a server jsp program reading the inputName value would use:
request.getParameter("inputName");
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The name attribute must be used for user form inputs with values that are to be sent to a
web server
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If omitted, the value the users selects or enters for the input will NOT be sent to the server.
Accessing form elements
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Array Notation:
document.forms[index].elements[index].propertyOrMethodName
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Must know the index number (order in which the form and element
appear in the page)
Be warned that if you place any of the inputs in a different order or
omit one and use array notation the array indexes will be off and the
code will not work!
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Which is why I use names instead of array indexes.
names (a good choice with javascript):
document.formName.elementName.propertyOrMethodName
or
document.forms[index].elementName.propertyOrMethodName
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Names are easier to read and understand than array notation
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Except when validating radio inputs (more later)
ids:
document.getElementByID("fname").value
Example Form Tag
<form name="customer_order"
method="post"
action="ProcessOrder.jsp">
form input elements and text go here
</form>
Form Elements
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Most form elements are defined using the input tag
<input type="input_type"
name="input_name"
value="input_value">
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Type: text, button, radio, etc.
Name: used to reference the element internally
Value: the element’s initial or current value
HTML Form Elements
Description
Function
Type
Sample Tag
Text field
Entering a single line of text
text
<input type="text"
name="name">
Password field
Entering a single line of text
with values masked as "****"
Password
<input type="password"
name="userpwd">
Command button
Starting an action such as
executing a script or program
Button
<input type="button"
value="Whatever">
Submit command
button
Submitting a form to the Web
server
Submit
<input type="submit"
value="Login">
Reset command
button
Returning the form to its
original state (clearing/resetting
input values)
Reset
<input type="reset"
value="Reset">
Radio button (or
option button)
Selecting a single value from a
predefined group of item
values
Radio
<input type="radio"
name="pmtmethod">
Check box
Specifying whether a value is
true or false
Checkbox
<input type="checkbox"
name="paid">
Lab1 introduces the HTML5 required attribute and type=email, number and date
More HTML Form Elements
Description
Function
Type
Attribute
Sample Tag
Text area
Entering multiple
lines of text, such
as a paragraph
Not used
<textarea name="comments">
Initially displayed text
</textarea>
Selection list
Selecting a single
item from a
predefined list of
items
Not used
<select name="colors">
<option value="1">Red</option>
</select>
Hidden element
Storing a data
item that is not
visible to the user
Hidden
<input type="hidden"
name="datemodified"
value="stored data">
Text Fields
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Single line of text data
Types
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Text
Password
All HTML form data is entered as text
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Characters, dates, numbers – they are all text
Text Field Example
<p>Please enter your name:
<input name="UserName" type="text">
</p>
Buttons
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Types
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Submit
Reset
Button
Difference between Submit and Button?
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Submit automatically submits to the Web server
Button requires the programmer to write
JavaScript code to make something happen
Button Examples
<form name="username" action="nextPage.php">
Please enter your name: <input type="text" name="name"><br>
<input type="submit" value="Submit Name"><br>
<input type="reset" value="Clear Form"><br>
<input type="button" value="Run Script" onclick="javaScriptFunction();">
</form>
Radio Buttons
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Each individual button is part of a radio button group
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The name is the same for all buttons in the group
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It references the value of the currently-selected button
The value and label attributes are different for each button
Radio Button Code Example
Check Boxes
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Indicates a data value that can have one of two values
General syntax:

The checked attribute makes the box checked at form startup
<input type="checkbox"
name="boxName"
value="boxValue"
checked>
Check Box Example
<p>Paid in Full
<input name="paidStatus"
type="checkbox"
value="PAID"
checked>
</p>
Selection Lists
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Defines a list from which the user can select one of a
series of values
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Often used to display data retrieved from a database
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List value is the value of the selected list item
Selection List Example
<select name="products">
<option value="shorts">Shorts</option>
<option value="tents">Tents</option>
<option value="fleece">Women's Fleece</option>
<option value="sandals">Children's Sandals</option>
</select>
Text Area
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Input field that can contain multiple lines of
unformatted text
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You can specify the length and width
Unlimited number of characters can be entered
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Sort of - this is browser dependent
if you want to allow uploading entire books consider
using the HTML input type="file"
Text Area Example
<textarea name="instructions" cols="40" rows="10">
Initial Text
</textarea>
 Closing tag is required ( /> not allowed for the opening tag)
Hidden Form Elements
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Useful for storing information that you don’t want the
user to see
Example: passing values from one form to another
 Syntax:
<input type="hidden" name="userName"
value="MORRISCM">

<form name="example" action="process.jsp" method="post">
<input type="text" name="quantity">
<input type="text" name="productID">
<input type="submit" value="Submit Order">
</form>
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When this form is submitted
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A) parameters are passed as a list on the URL
B) parameters are passed directly to the web server
C) What parameters? There are no parameters
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<select name="products">
<option value="shorts">Shorts</option>
<option value="tents">Tents</option>
<option value="fleece">Women's Fleece</option>
<option value="sandals">Children's Sandals</option>
</select>
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When this page is shown:
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A) This is displayed:
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B) This is displayed:
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When the above page is shown it is possible to select more
than one at the same time. But – when using radio buttons
only "one" should be selectable at a time. Why can more
than one be selected?
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A) The value's should all have the same value (i.e., value=items for example)
B) The name's should all be the same (i.e., name=items)
C) The input type should be type=option for all of them
D) None of them have a closing </input> tag
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Topics
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Introduction to JavaScript
Positioning a script
Variables
Type conversions
Concatenation
HTML forms
Document Object Model
Functions
Form Validation
Debugging
Stuff...
Browser Object Model (BOM)
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Hierarchy of objects providing programmatic access to the pages
displayed in the browser
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Document Object Model (DOM)
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Not standardized among different browsers
In practice most browsers have common implementations of browser objects
Subset of the browser object model
This IS standardized and compatible (mostly) across different browsers
Many developers, books, articles, etc. refer to the DOM and don't
refer to the BOM.
Browser Object Hierarchy (basics)
window
document
forms[] array images[] array
history
location
navigator screen
links[] array frames[] array
elements[] array
Document Object Model (DOM)
HTML Document Object Hierarchy
window
document
form
text
submit
textarea
reset
password
radio
select
option
checkbox
button
Navigating the HTML Document Model
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Hierarchy to a form object is called its object path
Reference a form object using dot syntax
window.document.form_name.object_name
Current window
(always)
Current HTML document
(always)
Enter the desired
form name and
object name
(if a form is named,
it is usually referenced
by name rather than using
forms[0] – same for elements
contained within a form)
window.document.forms[0].elements[0]
Example:
Form name:
student
Text field name:
DOB
You would reference the current value of DOB as:
window.document.student.DOB.value
NOTE: You can omit window when referencing
a form object For example: document.student.DOB.value
Some browsers also allow omitting document
Topics
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Introduction to JavaScript
Positioning a script
Variables
Type conversions
Concatenation
HTML forms
Document Object Model
Functions
Form Validation
Debugging
Cookies
Creating a Custom Function
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Create the function declaration within script tags

Defines the function:

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

Function name
Parameter list (optional)
Commands that function executes
Value that the function returns (optional)
Create the function call(s) in the Web page body
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Calls the function
Passes parameter values to it (if function has them)
Creating a Custom Function
Function
definition
Function
calls in
body
Function Declaration Syntax
function function_name (parameter1, parameter2, …){
function_commands
return return_value;
}
Optional – only a parameter name
is used – no type information
Function Call Syntax
function_name (parameter1, parameter2);
function validateAge(age) {
if(age == "") {
alert("Please enter your age");
return false;
} else if(isNaN(age) == true) {
alert("Please enter a number for your age");
return false;
}
Whatever the user has entered
return true;
in the text input is sent to validateAge
}
as a parameter
function validateUserEntries() {
if(validateAge(document.employee.age.value) == false) {
return false;
}
// additional code checking other entries
}
Event Handlers
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Event handler: function that executes as a result of a user action


Names of commonly-used event handlers:

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
You can use a JavaScript function as an event handler for a form button
onsubmit (for form submit buttons)
onclick (for regular command buttons, radio buttons, check boxes, hyperlinks)
onselect (for text fields and text areas)
onchange (for text fields, text areas, selection lists)
onmouseover (for many html elements)
Place the event handler name and its associated action directly within
the form item tag as an attribute=value

The action is usually a JavaScript function call
<input type=button event_handler_name="JavaScriptFunctionCall();">
Anonymous Functions

Some of the stranger looking code in JavaScript
revolves around anonymous functions

If used as below not very strange and pretty much
interchangeable with non-anonymous functions:
Anonymous Functions

This anonymous (sort of – it is assigned to sayHello) function
works:

This doesn't work:

Yet this non-anonymous function works:
anonymous and non-anonymous functions aren't quite the same
Number of other anonymous issues


But I'm not going to cover them here
We'll return to this when discussing jQuery
Examples of Event Handlers
<input type="text" name="inputName" value="Joline"
onchange="SelectNameText();">
<input type="button" name="showGreeting"
value="Show Greeting"
onclick="ShowGreetingText();">
<img
name=carImage src=car.jpg
onmouseover="switchImage();">
Finding Errors (continued)

Sources of errors:

Error in the command calling the function




Misspelled the function name?
Wrong capitalization?
Forgot the parentheses () after the function name?
Error in the function code itself




Mismatched curly braces { }?
Missing double or single quotes?
Wrong spelling or capitalization of commands?
??
What will happen when the button is clicked?
Assume browser is set to display errors:
A) There must be an error somewhere or you wouldn't be
asking this – so an error is displayed
B) Hello is displayed
C) No error, yet Hello isn't displayed
D) No idea what happens…
Answer to previous question


C – onclick="displayMessage;" should be
this: onclick="displayMessage();"
Omitting the parentheses after
displayMessage doesn't make the browser
show an error – yet displayMessage won't be
called!
What will happen when the button is clicked?
Assume browser is set to display errors:
A) An error is displayed
B) Hello is displayed
C) No error, yet Hello isn't displayed
D) No idea what happens…
Answer to previous question


A – function displayMessage { should be:
function displayMessage() {
Omitting the parentheses after
displayMessage in the function declaration
does cause a JavaScript error
What will happen when the button is clicked?
Assume browser is set to display errors:
A) An error is displayed
B) Hello is displayed
C) No error, yet Hello isn't displayed
D) No idea what happens…
Answer to previous question

A – onclick="displaymessage();" should be:
onclick="displayMessage();"
Topics











Introduction to JavaScript
Positioning a script
Variables
Type conversions
Concatenation
HTML forms
Document Object Model
Functions
Form Validation
Debugging
Stuff...
Topic

Validating HTML form inputs

determining:



If users entered something for required values
If users entered correct values
Why do this using client-side scripts?


Saves time/traffic of sending incorrect/incomplete inputs to the
Web server
Saves the Web server the processing time needed to validate the
inputs? Perhaps not – you should also validate on the server –
because users can find ways to submit stuff to the server
bypassing JavaScript validation (can you think of one really easy
way to do this?)
Form Validation Function


Function that is called before a form is submitted to the Web server
for processing
Contains a series of if or if/else tests to determine if form inputs are
correct


If all inputs are correct, function returns a value of true, and submits the
form to the Web server
If an input is not correct:



function displays an alert to inform the user about the problem
sets the focus (or selects – highlights contents) to the input needing attention
returns a value of false, and does not submit the form to the Web server
Form Validation Function using if Structures
function validation_function_name {
if (error_condition_1) {
alert ("error_condition_1_description");
set_focus_to_input_with_error;
return false;
}
if (error_condition_2) {
alert ("error_condition_2_description");
set_focus_to_input_with_error;
return false;
}
if (error_condition_3) {
alert ("error_condition_3_description");
set_focus_to_input_with_error;
return false;
}
return true;
}
Form Validation Function using if/else if Structures
function validation_function_name {
var ret = false;
if (error_condition_1) {
alert ("error_condition_1_description");
set_focus_to_input_with_error;
} else if (error_condition_2) {
alert ("error_condition_2_description");
set_focus_to_input_with_error;
} else if (error_condition_3) {
alert ("error_condition_3_description");
set_focus_to_input_with_error;
} else {
ret = true;
}
return ret;
}
Is this better than using the previous slide's approach?

Strategy for validating values:

Steps:




Repeat these steps for all other user inputs on the page


First check to see if required field value is entered
Next check to see if value is of the correct data type (if needed)
Finally check for value falling within a specific range (if needed)
Work from the top to bottom, left to right as people normally read a page
when doing this validation and do all validations for each element as you work
from the top to the bottom.
When an error is found, notify the user of the error and don’t do further
validation until the user corrects this error and resubmits the form.
Calling a Form Validation Function


Create an onsubmit event handler for the form
Syntax:
<form name="frmExample" action="nextPage.htm"
onsubmit="return Validation_Function_Name();">

Result:



If the function returns the value true, the submit input submits the
form to the Web server
If the function returns the value false, the submit input does not
submit the form
Caution:

If you omit the return before the function name the form will
always be submitted – even when false is returned by the
function
Calling a Form Validation Function (alternate)


Create an onclick event handler for the submit button
Syntax:
<input type="submit" value="Submit"
onclick="return Validation_Function_Name();">


Works almost the same as calling from a form's onsubmit
Except IE allows a form to be submitted by pressing the Enter
key when an <input …> tag is currently selected. If this is
done, it bypasses the submit button and the validation
function isn't called.


Firefox and other browsers don't bypass validation if a submit input's
onclick is used.
Use the previous slide's form onsubmit approach and do not
use a submit button's onclick event.
Validating using onblur

onblur – event that occurs when the focus shifts away
from the currently selected element

Allows validating an entry the moment the user tabs or
clicks to the next form element

Must additionally revalidate all elements when the form
is submitted:


The user might not tab or click to a required form element and
thereby not generate an onblur event
Pressing the enter key while an <input …> is selected submits
the form if using IE (and doesn't generate an onblur event)
Validation – best practice

Use onsubmit="return validationFunction();"

in your form tag to check entries
Consider using onblur to immediately check entries

Doing both means more coding effort 


if time is limited, use onsubmit and omit the onblurs
Repeat the validation in the server side program

Because users might find way to submit data that bypasses your
JavaScript validation
What will happen if the user clicks the submit button
without entering anything?
A) Nothing
B) An alert is displayed saying Please enter a number
C) An alert is displayed saying Please enter a number and nextPage.htm is displayed
D) No alert and nextPage.htm is displayed
E) No idea…
What will happen if the user clicks the submit button
without entering anything?
A) Nothing
B) An alert is displayed saying Please enter a number
C) An alert is displayed saying Please enter a number and nextPage.htm is displayed
D) No alert, but nextPage.htm is displayed
E) No idea…
Validating Numeric Inputs

Use the isNaN() function

Returns true if the value is not a number




An empty string "" will evaluate as false – indicating it is a
number (when clearly an empty string is not a number!)
So prior to the isNaN() test, add another test to ensure
something is entered.
Returns false if the value is a number (or is an empty string)
Syntax:
if (isNaN(document.example.num.value) == true) {
alert ("You must enter a value that is a number");
document.example.num.select();
return false;
}
Validating Numeric and Text Inputs


Regular Expressions
Syntax:
var testNumber = /^[\d]+$/;
if(testNumber.test(document.frmCourse.c_credits.value) == false) {
alert("Please enter a number for course credits");
document.frmCourse.c_credits.select();
return false;
}
testName = /^[a-zA-Z]+$/;
if(testName.test(example.name.value) == false) {
alert("Please enter only letters for your user name");
example.name.select();
return false;
}
http://gnosis.cx/publish/programming/regular_expressions.html
What will happen if the user clicks the submit button after
entering a number?
A) Nothing
B) An alert is displayed saying Please enter a number
C) An alert is displayed saying Please enter a number and nextPage.htm is displayed
D) No alert and nextPage.htm is displayed
E) No idea…
Validating Date Inputs


There are many ways to do this – none particularly elegant…
Use user entry to create a new Date object and test for NaN


Write your own custom function to validate the date


gets lengthy
Use a regular expression to validate the date


Doesn't work in all browsers and doesn't do a very good job of validating the
date
Also lengthy (and cryptic) if you attempt rigorous validation
Examples – these aren't complete
http://cs.uwec.edu/~morriscm/priv/Spr14/CS268/_ClassNotes/customDateValidationFunction.htm
Validating Numeric Ranges

Assuming you have already confirmed the
user input is a valid number using isNaN, the
syntax is:
var PIN = parseInt(document.login.UserPIN.value);
if (PIN < 1000 || PIN > 9999) {
alert("The PIN must be a number between 1000 and 9999");
document.login.UserPIN.select();
return false;
}
Validating Numeric Ranges

Assuming you have already confirmed the
user input is a valid number using isNaN and
all you care about is that it be a 4 digit
number:
if (document.frmExample.num.value.length != 4) {
alert("The number must have 4 digits");
document.frmExample.num.select();
return false;
}
Validating Numeric Entry and Length

Using Regular Expression

Example – requires 4 digit number – it can begin with zeros:
rePin = /^[0-9]{4}$/
if(!rePin.test(document.frmName.txtNumber.value)){

Example – requires 4 digit number beginning with 1 or higher:
rePin = /^[1-9][0-9]{3}$/
if(!rePin.test(document.frmName.txtNumber.value)){
http://www.zytrax.com/tech/web/regex.htm
Order of validation example

Top to bottom, left to right (as if reading)


The following has top to bottom order
Do all validations for name first, then age, then date
Assume we only care that
"something" is entered for name.
Only one validation is needed
for name.
We need three separate tests to
validate age.
isNaN won't catch empty entries.
And we need to ensure age is in
a (somewhat) reasonable range.
This regular expression will catch
empty entries (no need for a
separate test).
It doesn't ensure a reasonable
range – but I'm not going to
require this for this class.
mm/dd/yyyy
Notice that if an error is discovered, the user is notified without trying to find additional errors.
This is avoid overwhelming the user with multiple errors all at once. After fixing the error and
resubmitting, additional errors will be brought to their attention.
Validating a select list

If size="1" (the default value) the first item in the list is
always selected by default (until the user selects
something else)


The selectedIndex of the first item in the list is 0 (zero)
If size is greater than 1 (a list instead of a drop down
combo box) by default, nothing is initially selected


and the initial value for selectedIndex is -1
selectedIndex is what you check to see if something is selected.
If it is -1 the user needs to select something.
select example:
size > 1 so selectedIndex's
initial value is -1
(if size == 0 selectedIndex's
initial value is 0 and the first
item is selected by default)
Validating checkboxes

First of all, why validate a checkbox?


In other instances, there may be no need to validate a
checkbox


Perhaps you've got a single checkbox at the bottom of the page
for the user to check indicating they have read and accept an
agreement? (see this all the time)
Perhaps there is a list of checkboxes indicating user preferences
– and there is no need for a user to check any of them
Don't validate unless it makes sense to do so!
Validating checkboxes
checked property is true if checked
Validating radio inputs



A group of radio inputs will all have the same name
You must check each array element to see if one of
them is checked
If there are lots of radio inputs in the group – or if the
group of radio inputs is generated from a database query
and you don't know how many will be generated:

Use a loop to process the array storing the radio inputs and see if
one is selected
Validating radio inputs
(without using a loop)
Look at each array element
individually to see if checked.
In this example there are only
two elements in the group.
Validating radio inputs
(using a loop – assume there are "lots"
of choices in the radio group color)
The length property stores
how many elements are in
the array
If any element in the array is checked there is no need to
continue looking – there can only be one selected (checked)
element in a radio group.
If index is still -1, a checked radio input wasn't found in the array
Dreamweaver’s form validation

Dreamweaver will automatically generate a
Javascript function to validate form inputs
Dreamweaver allows you to:



Specify required fields
Specify that field data types must be numbers
Specify number ranges
Dreamweaver Pros and Cons

Pros?


Easier and faster to add a script!
Cons?

You lose control of





Message text
Selecting the input with the error
Can't validate dates
Single alert displays message about each error (is this
good?)
Nasty looking JavaScript – care to modify the generated
code?
Dreamweaver Generated JavaScript
Easy to understand and modify this code – no?
Similar code rewritten for human eyes
Easy to understand and modify this code
(including features Dreamweaver can't add – yes!)
Topics











Introduction to JavaScript
Positioning a script
Variables
Type conversions
Concatenation
HTML forms
Document Object Model
Functions
Form Validation
Debugging
Stuff...
Debugging JavaScript Programs

What happens when a script fails?




Whatever it was supposed to do doesn't happen
No error messages unless the browser you are using is configured to
show the error(s)
All of the major browsers now have decent JavaScript debugging tools
built in.
I'll show a few in class
All browsers cache cookies and pages

For example: Firefox – enter about:cache in
the address bar:
Make sure you aren't viewing a cached page that doesn't have your changes in it!
When using Firefox, press Ctrl-F5 at the same time to make Firefox get a new page
instead of using its cache.
Finding Errors – when the error console isn't enough

Strategies

Determine if the function is actually getting called


Display a short alert message as the first line of the function
If the function is getting called, then determine which line is
crashing



Display a short alert before every line to see how far you are getting
or
Cut out approximately half of the code and see if the error still occurs.
If it does, the error is in the remaining half, if not, the error is in the
half you cut out.


When cutting out code save it somewhere so you can add it back after you
find the error.
Be careful where you cut the code. You can introduce new errors if you
cut in a way that introduces mismatched curly braces or splits a string
constant across two lines.
Topics











Introduction to JavaScript
Positioning a script
Variables
Type conversions
Concatenation
HTML forms
Document Object Model
Functions
Form Validation
Debugging
Stuff...
Displaying a Confirm Message
• Confirm message is similar to an alert – but it has an
OK and a Cancel button
Examples using confirm
Alternate and equivalent code:
The following code segments are equivalent:
A) Yes
B) No
C) Don't know…
Changing the window location



Doesn’t open a new window, changes location of
current browser window
window.location.href = "new URL"
Examples:
window.location.href = "http://www.google.com"
window.location.href = "orders.htm"
window.location.href = "..\products\catalog.htm"
window.open


Pop up ad blockers will block a window.open command
from events other than the onclick event
window.open called from an onclick event is allowed by
most pop up blockers.
Blocked
<body onload="window.open('advertisement.html');">
<img src="drgdx.gif" onmouseover="window.open('advertisement.html');">
Not blocked
<input type="button" value="Open Window" onclick="window.open('advertisement.html');">
<img src="drgdx.gif" onclick="window.open('advertisement.html');">
Opening a new window
var window_id = window.open(url, [name, [options, [replace] ] ])



var window_id = is optional – if used, window_id can be used to close,
resize, or move the new window to a different spot on the screen.
url is optional – if omitted a blank browser window is displayed
name is optional –



What happens if you execute the window.open() method twice, with the same name (also
called target) argument? Like HTML-generated windows, if you specify the name of a
window that already exists, open() simply uses that existing window rather than opening
a new one.
options – define the properties of the new browser window
replace is optional - If true, the new location will replace the current page
in the browser's navigation history. Note that some browsers will simply
ignore this parameter
Opening a new window
Option list parameters
toolbar
displays the browser toolbar
toolbar=yes
toolbar=no
location
displays the address field in the browser
location=yes
location=no
directories
displays the window title bar links to frequently used URLs
directories=yes
directories=no
status
displays the status bar at the bottom edge of the window
status=yes
status=no
menubar
displays the browser menu bar
menubar=yes
menubar=no
scrollbar
displays scrollbars on the browser
scrollbar=yes
scrollbar=no
resizable
allows the user to resize the browser window
resizeable=yes
resizeable=no
width, height
specifies the browser window width and height, in pixels
width=300
height=200
Opening a new window
Example
var wParams = "height=160,width=550,menubar=no,toolbar=no,titlebar=no," +
"resizable=no,location=no,status=no,directories=no";
var adWindow = window.open("ad.htm","",wParams);
adWindow.moveTo(230, 350);
Arrays

Code creating an array and retrieving it’s
contents:
<script>
var classes = new Array();
classes[0] = "CS 491";
classes[1] = "CS 352";
classes[2] = "CS 319";
classes[3] = "CS 163";
function displayClasses() {
for (var i = 0; i < classes.length; i++) {
document.write(classes[i] + "<br>");
}
}
</script>
Arrays


HTML input elements are stored as arrays
Example :
function DisplayElements() {
var msg = "";
for(var i = 0; i < document.frmOrderItem.elements.length; i++) {
msg += document.frmOrderItem.elements[i].name + "=" +
document.frmOrderItem.elements[i].value + "\n";
}
alert(msg);
}
Arrays


Radio inputs are in arrays
Validating a radio input is checked sometimes requires array
processing
function ValidateRadioSelected() {
var index = -1;
for(var i=0; i<document.frmOrderItem.color.length; i++) {
if(document.frmOrderItem.color[i].checked) {
index = i;
break;
}
}
if(index >= 0) {
alert(document.frmOrderItem.color[index].value + " is checked");
return true;
} else {
alert("Please select a color");
document.frmOrderItem.color[0].focus();
return false;
}
}
window.setTimeout

Can omit the window.

Executes Javascript commands after a
specified amount of time elapses
setTimeout("commandOrFunction", timeToWaitInMilliSeconds);
setTimeout("alert('5 seconds have elapsed')", 5000);
window.setInterval

Similar to setTimeout – except will continue to execute the
command(s) again and again after the specified time
elapses.
setInterval(commandOrFunction, timeToWaitInMilliSeconds);
setInverval(alert("5 seconds have elapsed"), 5000);
http://ejohn.org/blog/how-javascript-timers-work/
window.screen

Useful to center browser window in the screen


But only if you opened the window using window.open
Can be used to download smaller images to
browsers with lower color depths or resolution


Which could make page downloads faster
But this is a lot of work and normally isn't done
screen.height
screen's height in pixels
screen.width
screen's width in pixels
screen.colorDepth
#bits used to display color
What will this do?
Here's the code as text if you want
to copy and paste it in a new page
and then test it to see what it does
<html><head><title>What does this do?</title>
<script>
var x = 0;
var y = 0;
var direction = "down";
var winID;
function initializeBrowser() {
var wParams = "height=200,width=400,top=0,left=0";
winID = window.open("", "", wParams);
setInterval('moveBrowser()', 1);
}
function moveBrowser() {
if(direction == "down" && y > screen.availHeight - 200) {
direction = "up";
} else if(direction == "up" && y < 50) {
winID.close();
this.close();
}
if(direction == "down") {
x += 4;
y += 4;
} else {
x -= 4;
y -= 4;
}
winID.moveTo(x, y);
winID.focus();
}
</script>
</head>
<body>
<input type="button" onclick="initializeBrowser();" value="Start">
</body></html>
JavaScript Events

Ways to assign




inline (works in all browsers):
<input type="button" onclick="myFunction();">
traditional (using JavaScript – works in all browsers):
obj = document.getElementByID("relevantID");
obj.onclick = myFunction;
W3C (JavaScript – can add several event listeners to the same event for the same object):
obj = document.getElementByID("relevantID");
obj.addEventListener('click', myFunction, false);
Microsoft (JavaScript):
obj = document.getElementByID("relevantID");
obj.attachEvent('click', myFunction, false);
http://www.quirksmode.org/js/introevents.html
JavaScript Events

If you use the traditional method (works in all browsers)



declare function with a single parameter
(any name will do but e is often used)
function myFunction(e) { … }
Parameter references the event object in browsers OTHER than IE
If using IE parameter is ignored


IE references the event object using window.event
Detecting browser (and type of code to use)
if(window.event) { // IE }
or
if(e) { // not IE – assumes named parameter e }
JavaScript Events



Event object properties/methods
Varies between IE and rest of world
The following link lists many of them:
http://www.javascriptkit.com/domref/domevent.shtml
JavaScript Events

Recommendation?

Use traditional rather than inline if you need access
to the event object


Useful to prevent Firefox from automatically doing drag
and drops with images
Some say use it all the time


Separates code from html markup
Allows access to the event object


(IE always allows access - other browsers need an e parameter)
But – results in more complicated code
see next slide
JavaScript Events
Less code – and less complicated
JavaScript Events
Wait until page finishes loading
to initialize the events
Retrieve the element and assign
a function to relevant events
I'm not showing it, but you will
need to pre-cache the images
Retrieve the element triggering the event.
Code varies between IE and rest of world
Recent Firefox versions automatically drag
all images when mouse is pressed and dragged
over the image. IE throws an error over this
code. Other browsers just ignore it. This prevents
Firefox from dragging the image.
See next slide for revised way to do this.
Block image dragging
What is the result?
A.
B.
C.
Name was Smith
Name was not Smith
Same as previous question, you didn't change a thing
Pitfall: Using = or ==
' = ' is the assignment operator


Used to assign values to variables
Example:
var name = "Smith";
'= = ' is the equality operator


Used to compare values
Example:
if ( name == "smith")
Javascript will accept this error:
if( name = "smith")
but stores smith in name instead of comparing name and "Smith"


Since the result is "Smith" (non-zero and also not an empty string ""), the
expression is considered true
any result besides an empty string or 0 is considered true

a result of 0 or "0" or "" is considered false
Always use == to compare and you won't have to worry about this!
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HTML Review #2 - UWEC Computer Science Department