Thursday, May 1, 2014

JavaScript must be enabled for EPath to work correctly

Need help enabling JavaScript?

If JavaScript is not enabled, then we recommend turning it on. A lot of websites use JavaScript as a part of their core functionality, and if you browse the internet without JavaScript enabled then you probably won't have the full experience that you normally would. Some websites may not work properly, others may not work at all.

This web page has instructions for activating Java based on a different browser options.
What is JavaScript?
JavaScript is a multipurpose programming language. There are many, many things that it can be used for. Generally speaking, it is used to allow Website developers to create web pages that have some intelligence built in to them. Instead of a webpage just being a plain page that has no interactivity, JavaScript can allow webpages adapt to what you do on the page, load new information, make decisions and respond to events.

For example, JavaScript might be used to validate a Mailing List Subscription form. So that when you try to submit a form the code runs and looks at each field on the form. If the code notices that you've forgotten to enter something in one of the fields (for example, your email address) it would pop up a warning and not let you submit the form until it is complete. Once that field is fixed then the form will be allowed to be submitted.

JavaScript can also be used to dynamically update part of a page without needing to reload the entire page.

Security

As with most things, there is a flip side to JavaScript. There is an increasing number of ways for JavaScript to be used maliciously. JavaScript based attacks such as Cross Site Scripting and Click Jacking rely on JavaScript and can cause your security to be compromised.  The South Dakota Bureau of Information and Technology has strict guidelines that must be followed to minimize these risks, however, other websites may not.  There are browser extensions for Chrome (NotScripts) and Firefox (NoScript) which can disable JavaScript by default but make it easy to turn it on only for trusted websites  (these have not been independently verified by DOR, but are examples of tools that are available).  


Information from wikipedia.com, activatejava.org, and whatismybrowser.com were used for this update.