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A Brief History Of JavaScript

The first version of JavaScript was released under the name LiveScript by Netscape in 1995. However, due to the growing popularity of Java, the langauge was later renamed.

In 1996, Microsoft also released it's own version of JavaScript that was extensively supported on it's own IE Browser. Same idea, somewhat similar syntax to the Netscape version but still had it's issues. The biggest issue was the fact that developers had to write different scripts for different browsers!

This fragmentation of the language led to JavaScript being submitted to ECMA International (European Computer Manufacturers Association) to start the process of standrdization. This meant that JavaScript would now confirm to fixed set of rules, regulations, best practices etc. (in short standards) to prevent the headache of fragmentation and allow developers to write single code that would run on multiple browsers.

The period from 1997 - 2005 saw huge standardisation efforts of JavaScript and the language quickly gained popularity in web development. Microsoft however, stayed away from this process.

From 2006 - 2011 there was huge progress in the JavaScript ecosystem followed by Microsoft joining the forces. It also saw the release of JavaScript based web development frameworks like AngularJS, Ember, Backbone.js etc. which completely changed how web development was looked at.

Though the timeline ends at 2011 the development and standardization of JavaScript does not. Though the inital standardization efforts led to a clunky language with many different versions, what we have now, is a much more streamlined, standardized language that at the core, is supported by most browsers! Each browser however implements it's own verison of this standardized language to support different features.

ECMAScript And JavaScript

Through the continous efforts of ECMA International, they were able to create a standardized language that at it's core is supported by most browsers. ECMAScript is the actual language that was evolved by ECMA International and this ECMAScript is implemented as JavaScript by most browser vendors. Other examples of ECMAScript implementations include ActionScript and JScript.

ECMAScript is more of a set of guidelines and standards that need to be followed and JavaScript is the programmable implementation of the same. Therefore, ECMAScript isn't directly used but the standards that it specifies get implemented.


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