Help with javascript function if-else statement

My web app displays a text box. The data can contain a full URL (http://abcdefg?itemcode=XYZ) or simply any text XYZ. If the text box begins with http I parse out some data based on the presence of the word itemcode; otherwise I simply pass along the text.

I have tried if-else and I've tried simply looking at a variable to determine the condition in order to pass the appropriate variable to the .php

In the snipet below when the else condition is executed an alert of -1 appears and the first 8 characters of my text string are truncated. For example if I enter 1234567890 in the text box then the alert of -1 appears and only 90 is passed to the .php.

Please look at the attached snipet and provide proper syntax and/or reason for the logical error.
ee.txt
kbiosAsked:
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Tom BeckCommented:
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kbiosAuthor Commented:
**** UPDATE ****

I noticed that if statement in my function only had 1 equal sign (=) and I changed it to 2 (==) and the code worked fine!

I'm new to javascript and still learning some syntax. But real quick; why can I use 1 equal in the variable declaration but need 2 in an if statement?

I will still award points based on help in understanding javascript a little better. Thanks
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kbiosAuthor Commented:
tommyBoy     :)   thanks.
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