History of ECMAScript and JavaScript

September 28, 2015 Leave a comment

Hello folks ,

Nowadays “JavaScript” is used anywhere , instead of being only the client side , cross browser scripting language it has been evolved as a backend language as well (Node.js) and soon its going to handle the hardware as well http://www.espruino.com/ .

Though we use JavaScript every now and then , directly , indirectly (with Jquery) now it is part of every web developers work life , but very few know the history of JavaScript , how it has been evolving , who specifies the standards for JavaScript which made it multi browser compatible.

Lets go back in the 90s to know this

JavaScript is invented by Brendan Eich in ten days in 1995 while working with NetScape  (Now Mozilla) , It was initially named Mocha, later LiveScript, and finally JavaScript.

The change of name from LiveScript to JavaScript roughly coincided with Netscape adding support for Java technology in its Netscape Navigator web browser. The final choice of name caused confusion, giving the impression that the language was a spin-off of the Java programming language, and the choice has been characterized as a marketing ploy by Netscape to give JavaScript the cachet of what was then the hot new web programming language.

Soon later in 1996 , Microsoft introduced VBScript and JScript in the market , But the different standards between NetScape’s Javascript and Microsoft’s JScript
made it difficult for the developers to make the website compatible in both the browsers.

Declaration of ECMA script :

In November 1996, Netscape announced that it had submitted JavaScript to ECMA International for consideration as an industry standard, and subsequent work resulted in the standardized version named ECMAScript.

In June 1997, ECMA International published the first edition of the ECMA-262 specification.

In June 1998, some modifications were made to adapt it to the ISO/IEC-16262 standard, and the second edition was released. The third edition of ECMA-262 was published on December 1999.

Development of the fourth edition of the ECMAScript standard was never completed.The fifth edition was released in December 2009. The current edition of the ECMAScript standard is 6, released in June 2015.
All Browsers javascript compilers (called ECMAScript engines) follow the ECMA script as the standard which made javascript compatible with most of the browsers those follow ECMAScript.

The evolution we have been seeing in the javascript is done by ECMA script with 6 releases till date.

List of ECMA Script features browser supporting http://kangax.github.io/compat-table/es5/

Regards ,

Ganesh Divekar