Skip to content

Confused with syntax, calling a JS function with an input button

I am having troubles understanding the xhtml syntax for calling a function with an input button. I have searched for this, but cannot find a clear explanation.

This snippet of code is from my book, and it works ok, but I’m not sure exactly how the following line works:


From what I can figure out, gradeForm is the form, and then grade is the switch statement? So would you use Foo if you had another switch statement called foo inside the checkGrades function? And I am not sure what document or value are for inside the onClick checkGrade function.

Any help would be very much appreciated!

<script type="text/javascript">

function checkGrade(grade) {
    switch (grade.toUpperCase()) {
    case "A":
    window.alert("Your grade is excellent.")
case "B":
    window.alert("Your grade is good.")
case "C":
    window.alert("Your grade is fair.")
case "D":
    window.alert("You are barely passing.")
case "F":
    window.alert("You failed.")
    window.alert("You did not enter a valid letter grade.");

<p>Please enter your grade below:</p>
<form action="#" name="gradeForm">
    <input type="text" name="grade" />
    <input type="button" value="Check Grade" onclick="checkGrade(document.gradeForm.grade.value);" />



No, grade refers to the textbox. You’re passing the value of the textbox into the checkGrade function. The switch statement is running over the grade variable, which holds the value of the grade textbox.

You can’t really “name” a switch statement. The argument to the switch represents the value you are testing.

document represents your HTML document, and value is the value of the textbox named grade. On another note, it is not recommended to use the onClick attribute in XHTML/HTML. Unobtrusive Javascript is preferred, where you bind a handler to the button. For more details, I recommend reading up on the Document Object Model, specifically The DOM and Javascript.

How old is this book you’re using?