Java, JavaScript & UnityScript

I am running a lunch activity at high school that teaches students to learn the basics of computer programming. It’s fun! We use all sorts of different websites, games and applications to learn the basics of computer programming.

Last week a Year 8 student joined us and he is really keen on learning UnityScript, except he’s been calling it JavaScript and I’m pretty sure they are 2 different things! He asked me about JavaScript for Unity in a comment on my teaching website and this is my reply. For the cool-kids out there who know a bit about this, please comment with your favourite online resources so that I can help this student.

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Java, JavaScript and Unity’s version of JavaScript are NOT the same thing.

Java is a programming language, created by Oracle, that allows you to create apps and stand-alone applications (this allows it to be a very powerful/useful programming language for small to large business/organisations). Java needs to be compiled FIRST and therefore you need a development environment to compile & run it (I currently use NetBeans, it’s a free download).

JavaScript is a programming scripting language, created by Netscape, that is commonly used with HTML pages (web-pages). JavaScript improves the interactivity of web-pages. JavaScript does not need to be compiled, instead it is run in-text. JavaScript is not as robust as Java programming, but it has its uses. Check out Codecademy for free & simple tutorials on how to write JavaScript.

Unity’s version of JavaScript, which should be called UnityScript, is created by Unity and is very similar to JavaScript but it does not always work the same! Therefore, if you learn JavaScript it may not necessarily work the same as UnityScript.

I know Java and JavaScript and I have used these professionally as well as taught them at the tertiary (College) level. I have not worked with Unity yet.

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