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History Of JavaScript
History Of JavaScript

History of JavaScript – Advanced JavaScript Tutorial

A little history lesson wouldn’t be so bad. JavaScript has come a long way to become what it  is today. The history of JavaScript isn’t necessary to know, but having some background knowledge will help you better understand what JavaScript is and how it came to be.

It All Started With An Orange Basketball….

It actually didn’t, but if you get the reference, you’re awesome! Alright, now for the real history. In 1995, there was a dilemma with form validation.  Visitors were filling out forms and there was a huge problem with them forgetting to fill a certain field. Sometimes a field wasn’t filled in correctly.

Now, this may not seem like a problem because back then there was server side languages that could handle this. The real problem was the time it took to send this data, process it and then display a message back. Back then, the average internet speed was 28kpbs. Yikes!

You would end up waiting 30 seconds just for a message to tell you that you forgot to fill in your phone number. During that same time, Netscape Navigator was working on a solution to fix this. Netscape Navigator was the most popular web browser with over 80% of the internet users using it.

Netscape had the idea with processing the user input with client-side code. Meaning you would get an error message right away telling you that you forgot to fill in a certain field and you wouldn’t end up wasting your time. The first version was called JavaScript 1.0.

The name was suppose to be LiveScript, but Java was getting a lot of attention, so they decided to feed off of that attention by naming it JavaScript instead. The language was praised by many and so that resulted in an update called JavaScript 1.1.

Same Language, Different Browsers

Things started to get a little hectic as JavaScript grew. Microsoft decided it was time to get in on the action. So, they developed their own client-side language called JScript. However, it wasn’t documented and was really confusing, so it never became anything.

Netscape became scared anyway. They realized that they must make JavaScript standardized. So, in 1997, they submitted JavaScript 1.1 to ECMA (European Computer Manufacturers Association).

ECMAScript was Born

A committee was formed to standardize the language. This was made up of various tech geniuses from various tech giant companies. After many months of hard work, they released a whole new language called ECMAScript.

ECMAScript became a general purpose language. No longer was it a scripting language for the web. Here’s the thing, ECMAScript became a basic language. It didn’t have any way of taking in input or outputting data. JavaScript is based off this standard.

You can call it JavaScript or ECMAScript. Either one works. Since JavaScript is a general purpose language, it’s up to the software to extend JavaScript. Basically, your browser has a JavaScript interpreter. This interpreter gives you access to different functions and objects. Things like the document object is only in browsers and not part of the ECMAScript standard. Things like conditional statements, variables, functions, and data types are all part of ECMAScript. So don’t worry, you won’t have to learn a different language for each interpreter.

The first version was called ECMAScript first edition.

Fast Forward to 2008

By 2008, all browsers complied with the ECMAScript third edition. By this time, The fifth edition of ECMAScript is the current version as of this writing, August 2013. It was released in 2009. After 5 editions, JavaScript has completely changed since it’s beginnings. No longer is it a scripting language, but a fully capable language.

You can use it to create apps or even perform server side logic! The next edition has been set to release in a couple of months. Since this tutorial series is based on teaching you the latest techniques and versions of JavaScript, I’ll be informing you on what’s new and what you’ll need to know for this new version.


I’ve skipped quite a few things, but it would be one huge read if I didn’t. From here on out, we’ll start coding and dive right into the cool stuff!

About Jasko Koyn

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