JavaScript History JavaScript History

Developed by Netscape Communications, JavaScript was released with Netscape Navigator 2 in 1996. Later that year, Microsoft released its implementation of the language ("JScript") with Internet Explorer 3. The language's core was standardized in 1997 as "ECMAScript."

Download the official ECMAScript Language Specification (ECMA-262)

While browser vendors create proprietary objects and methods, JavaScript's core is now supported by all modern graphic web browsers (Internet Explorer 6, Firefox 1.5, Safari 2, Opera 8 and later versions) which makes JavaScript development much more rewarding today than in the early 2000s.

Despite its name, the object-based JavaScript scripting language has little to do with Java, a full-fledged, object-oriented application programming language.

JavaScript's Popularity

Though powerful, JavaScript is relatively easy to learn. It is also a very forgiving language: variables need not be declared before they are used; JavaScript is a "weakly typed" language (all variables are of Object datatype); array sizes are dynamically adjusted to meet runtime needs; syntax requirements are looser than languages like C or Java; etc.

The popularity of the JavaScript programming language has contributed to the birth of offshoots, like Adobe Flash' own ActionScript language, which is based on ECMAScript.