Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.Join For Free
Access over 20 APIs and mobile SDKs, up to 250k transactions free with no credit card required
For this reason, I am interested in the evolution of the language. The low points, high points, and its strength. Without further ado, let's dive into it.
Before the mid-1990s, the web was not much of a major force. No primary language, with HTML being the major means of making web pages.
However in 1995, the National Center of Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) made moves to change this, they released the world's first popular web browser.
It was called the NCSA Mosaic.
To challenge the NCSA Mosaic, Marc Andreessen brought in a majority of the developers who built NCSA Mosaic to a company called Netscape.
At Netscape, the developers built another web browser called Mosaic Netscape without any of the code used in building NCSA Mosaic.
Mosaic Netscape challenged NCSA Mosaic, and in order to avoid copyright issues the company renamed the product.
Its new name: Netscape Navigator.
After the success of Netscape Navigator, Marc Andreessen felt the web still wasn't complete.
It lacked a primary programming language. In his terms, the web needed a “glue language.”
To overcome this challenge, Netscape entered into a license agreement with Sun’s Microsystems the owner of a popular programming language Java.
The “glue language” would not any relation to Java, except a bit of similarity in syntax.
Brendan Eich was employed in May 1995 to help with creating this language and he created a prototype in 10 days.
After the development of the prototype, this newly created language was called Mocha.
A better release was made in September 1995 and a name change was made as well, with the new name being LiveScript.
It should be known, though, that this did not bring about any copyright infringements as Sun’s and Netscape had entered into an agreement earlier.
Adoption and Version Releases
ECMAScript 2 was released the next year, with minimal changes to the previous version to keep up with the ISO standard for the language.
In December 1999, 18 months after the release of ECMAScript 2, ECMAScript 3 was released with lots of changes. ECMAScript 3 saw the introduction of the language’s regular expression and exception handling features.
Immediately after the release of ECMAScript 3, plans to come up with ECMAScript 4 began in 2000. However, the whole process died down with the closure of this project confirmed in 2003 after ECMA released an interim report containing some of the functionality intended for ECMAScript 4.
While ECMAScript 4 was abandoned, the successor to ECMAScript 3 was finally released in December 2009. This was a decade after the release of ECMAScript 3 and was called ECMAScript 5 and came with lots of new features including support for the parsing of JSON files.
In 2013, plans were made for the release of the ECMAScript 6 but just as in the case of ECMAScript 4, the process slowed down. However, the project did not die out completely as it was released in June 2015.
ECMAScript has further seen the ECMAScript 2016, 2017, and 2018 versions all released in the month of June of their various years.
In 2006, a lot of frameworks and libraries were released. The most popular being jQuery.
jQuery was created to help developers build sophisticated web pages. This framework is quite powerful, challenging the issues faced by developers with the subtle differences in browser implementations. jQuery also abstracted all of the complexity of client-side web development at the same time, making it easy for developers to learn and use.
In 2010, Backbone was created by Jeremy Ashkenas.
Single Page Applications have had a huge impact on modern day web applications. Backbone is one framework that helped push the prominence of SPAs, with Backbone developers being able to build Single Page Applications easily.
Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.