Basic JavaScript Question:
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How can JavaScript make a Web site easier to use? That is, are there certain JavaScript techniques that make it easier for people to use a Web site?


JavaScript's greatest potential gift to a Web site is that scripts can make the page more immediately interactive, that is, interactive without having to submit every little thing to the server for a server program to re-render the page and send it back to the client. For example, consider a top-level navigation panel that has, say, six primary image map links into subsections of the Web site. With only a little bit of scripting, each map area can be instructed to pop up a more detailed list of links to the contents within a subsection whenever the user rolls the cursor atop a map area. With the help of that popup list of links, the user with a scriptable browser can bypass one intermediate menu page. The user without a scriptable browser (or who has disabled JavaScript) will have to drill down through a more traditional and time-consuming path to the desired content.

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How is JavaScript different from Java? How can JavaScript be used to improve the "look and feel" of a Web site? By the same token, how can JavaScript be used to improve the user interface?