Some will recall using
iframe tags in the browser to avoid reloading a user’s page with a new request. In March of 1999, Internet Explorer 5.0 is shipped with
XMLHTTP, a browser API that could enable developers to take advantage of background requests.
With more complexity being enabled in the browser, there was a need for tooling to keep up. Firebug was created in 2005 as the first Developer Tool to debug in Mozilla’s Firefox browser. It was the first piece of tooling that provided developers the ability to inspect and debug directly from the browser. (Source)
In addition to the release of V8, Chrome introduced developers to another innovation: Developer Tools that are native to the browser. At the time, features only included element inspection and looking at resources, but the tool was an upgrade from the current tooling and would influence an entire suite of developer tools for front-end development. (Source)
Shortly after Node.js was introduced, npm was created. npm (short for Node package manager) would eventually create the standard in managing dependencies for both front-end and back-end applications making it easier to publish, install, and manage shared source code with a project file, the package.json. npm also provided the npm registry, which would supply hundreds of thousands of applications a database to retrieve Node.js dependencies.
Additionally, with the rising popularity of Node.js, there was momentum to repurpose the runtime or other uses. GitHub made use of Node.js as a library with Chromium’s rendering engine and created Electron for desktop applications. Notable desktop applications that use Electron include GitHub Desktop, Slack, and Visual Studio Code.
In 2015, Facebook released GraphQL as an open source project, a querying language for APIs that simplifies request calls between clients and servers to resolve the differences between server-side data schemas and client-side data needs. (Source) Due to its popularity, the project would eventually be moved to its own GraphQL Foundation.