Javascript and passing parameters through forms

I am lecturing the subject INFS7210 Fundamentals of Electronic Commerce at the University of Queensland this semester (Semester 2 2011).  As part of this, everyone is learning to program using javascript and web pages.  The course is only an introduction to web page programming.  I thought I would document up one of the issues students have had to come to grips with.

The group assignment is an online business plan for a proposed e-commerce website.  In support of that business plan, the students have to create a prototype website.

For the group assignment, students need to have multiple web pages of data.  For most students that will require the pages to pass data from one page (e.g. where the user makes a selection) to another (e.g. displays the web catalogue).

For the prototype website, students do not have to create a database into which data is stored.  However, that means that students have an issue:  how do I pass data from one page to another?

The way to achieve this, usually, when using javascript and not using a database “back-end”, is to pass data as a parameter set in the URL.  This is called “Passing Parameters via Query Strings” or “Javascript Variable Passing”. 

It is best if I simply set out some resources for students to read and use in developing the web application:

Students may also be interested in a relevant Google search:,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=111a300bc2dcdbc5&biw=1920&bih=923

The astute will note that the Google link uses a very similar technique above in the passed parameter.