Using JavaScript Variables and Built-In Functions, Part 2

By - thau!

Excerpted from Chapter 2, JavaScript 2nd Edition: A Practical Guide To Interactive Web Pages from No Starch Press

Strings

Any series of characters between quotes is called a string. (You'll be seeing lots of strings throughout this book.) Strings are a basic type of information, like numbers--and like numbers, you can assign them to variables.

To assign a string to a variable, you'd write something like this:

var my_name = "thau!";
The word thau! is the string assigned to the variable my_name.

You can stick strings together with a plus sign (+), as shown in the bolded section of Figure 2-6. This code demonstrates how to write output to your page using strings.

<html><head>
<title>Seconds in a Day</title>
<script type = "text/javascript">
<!-- hide me from older browsers

var seconds_per_minute = 60;
var minutes_per_hour = 60;
var hours_per_day = 24;

var seconds_per_day = seconds_per_minute * minutes_per_hour * hours_per_day;

// show me --></script>
</head><body>

<h1>My calculations show that . . .</h1>

<script type = "text/javascript">

<!-- hide me from older browsers

X var first_part = "there are ";
Y var last_part = " seconds in a day.";
Z var whole_thing = first_part + seconds_per_day + last_part;

window.document.write(whole_thing);

// show me -->

</script>

</body>

</html>
Figure 2-6: Putting strings together

Line-by-Line Analysis of Figure 2-6

Line X in Figure 2-6,
var first_part = "there are ";
assigns the string "there are" to the variable first_part. Line Y,
var last_part = " seconds in a day.";
sets the variable last_part to the string "seconds in a day." Line Z glues together the values stored in first_part, seconds_per_day, and last_part. The end result is that the variable whole_thing includes the whole string you want to print to the page, there are 86400 seconds in a day. The window.document.write() line then writes whole_thing to the web page.

NOTE: The methods shown in Figures 2-4 and 2-6 are equally acceptable ways of writing there are 86400 seconds in a day. However, there are times when storing strings in variables and then assembling them with the plus sign (+) is clearly the best way to go. We'll see a case of this when we finally get to putting the date on a page.


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