The History of JavaScript: Everything You Want To Know

In this post we are going to learn about history of JavaScript, the versions of javascript and what is important for us as developers

The History of JavaScript

JavaScript is one of the most commonly used programming languages, you can say that more than 70% percent of developers using it in 2019. There are more than 1.52 billion of websites today that incorporate javascript. Giants like Facebook and YouTube, Google, and eBay they all use JavaSript. Google is famous for its apps and Google Maps rely on JavaScript.

What Is JavaScript?

So JavaScript is a scripting language that is one of the three core languages used to develop websites. We/Developers use HTML and CSS to give a website specific style and structure/markup but JavaScript gives you the freedom to add functionality and behaviors to your website. With JavaScript, it's possible to give users an interesting way to interact with the content in many ways. JavaScript is primarily a client-side language this means that it can run on your computer within your browser. But most recently the introduction of Node.js has allowed JavaScript to be also executed on servers.

Why JavaScript?

Now since its beginnings JavaScript started to take momentum, now it has surpassed Java, Flash, and other languages because it is relatively easy to learn. There are a lot of learning materials, books, tutorials on how to use JavaScript. Its a free and open community, and, most importantly its very fast and easy to build apps.

JavasScript Beginnings/Origins

So in the mid-1990s, it was a very interesting time on the internet, both players like Netscape and Microsoft were in a war and trying to take the throne for the best browser.

That is why in September 1995, a Netscape programmer named Brandan Eich developed a new scripting language amazingly in just over a week, or 10 days to be exact. It was originally named Mocha, but quickly became known as LiveScript and, later, JavaScript.

JavaScript in Netscape

Netscape_Navigator NetScape Link

JavaScript vs. Java

So if you have confusion about JavaScript and Java, then I will just say this, they have nothing in common and they are not the same. So maybe the point was to direct users to turn to this language because they already know Java programming language. JavaScript didn’t exactly get off to the best start. It didn’t perform as well as planned but after that, It becomes very popular and widespread.

ECMAScript Is Born

In 1997 , ES1 or ECMAScript became the first version of JavaScript. Therefore, Netscape handed the job of creating a language specification to the European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA), a body founded with the goal of standardizing computing. The ECMA specifications were labeled ECMA-262 and ECMAScript languages included JavaScript, JScript, and ActionScript.

  • So EcmaScript is considered as Language Standard
  • Javascript as Language in general

Between 1997 and 1999, ECMA-262 had three revisions, but nearly 10 years later, version 4 was abandoned due to its proposed features.

2005 Ajax

So the year 2005 is one of the biggest years for JavaScript. Jesse James Garrett introduced Ajax, a revolutionary suite of technologies that included JavaScript. This led the community to responded with creation of large and popular JavaScript frameworks and libraries, like JQuery, Dojo and Mootools .

2009 ES5 (ECMAScript 5) was released with new and imporved features

2015 ES6/ES2015 (ECMAScript 2015) was released with the most biggest updated of the language. This today is the most used today. Now

From this year forward they start naming it to annual release cycle so ES2016/ ES2017 ....

JavaScript Today

So because we know the history now, we can say that today JavaScript and its frameworks play a big role in web development. With the help of this frameworks and libraries, such as Ember, Angular, React, and Vue, have been developed to allow powerful and complicated web applications. There is also one more old fashioned if you like to say implentation of JavaScipt called “vanilla” implementation of JavaScript. So for the future it’s clear that JavaScript is going to be with us for many years to come.

Which Version should I use?

  • So ES5 its fully sported by all of the modern and old browers today
  • ES6/ES2017
  • ES7/ES2016
  • ES8/ES2017 Supported by all modern browers
  • ES9 ES2018
  • ES10 ES2019
    • Now if we have a user that use a old borwer then we have a problem using this new versions of javasctipt and that is becomming a headache. So the solution is to use polufilling and transpiling

      Browser Support !

      JavaScript Browers Support

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