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Beginning JavaScript®, Fourth Edition by Jeremy McPeak, Paul Wilton

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Chapter 3. Decisions, Loops, and Functions

So far, you've seen how to use JavaScript to get user input, perform calculations and tasks with that input, and write the results to a web page. However, a pocket calculator can do all this, so what is it that makes computers different? That is to say, what gives computers the appearance of having intelligence? The answer is the capability to make decisions based on information gathered.

How will decision-making help you in creating web sites? In the last chapter you wrote some code that converted temperature in degrees Fahrenheit to centigrade. You obtained the degrees Fahrenheit from the user using the prompt() function. This worked fine if the user entered a valid number, such as 50. If, however, the user entered something invalid for the Fahrenheit temperature, such as the string aaa, you would find that your code no longer works as expected. Now, if you had some decision-making capabilities in your program, you could check to see if what the user has entered is valid. If it is, you can do the calculation, and if it isn't, you can tell the user why and ask him to enter a valid number.

Validation of user input is probably one of the most common uses of decision making in JavaScript, but it's far from being the only use.

In this chapter you'll look at how decision making is implemented in JavaScript and how you can use it to make your code smarter.

Decision Making — The if and switch Statements

All programming languages enable you to make ...

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