History of JavaScript on a Timeline

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In the early 1990s, Brendan Eich was working on a project at Netscape Communications Corporation. He needed a scripting language for web pages that would be easy to use, so he created one himself. He called it JavaScript. And the rest, as they say, is history.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the history of JavaScript on a timeline. We’ll see how it has evolved over the years and what new features have been added along the way. So sit back and enjoy learning about one of the most popular programming languages in the world!

1994-1998: The Netscape era

  • On December 15, 1994, Netscape Communications Corporation released the Netscape Navigator 1.0 web browser.
  • Brendan Eich created the very first version of JavaScript, codenamed “Mocha”, then later (still internally) renamed to LiveScript
  • “Netscape and Sun announce JavaScript, the open, cross-platform object scripting language for enterprise networks and the internet”
  • Microsoft introduced JScript in Internet Explorer to compete with Netscape.
  • Netscape 2 was released with JavaScript 1.0
  • Netscape submitted JavaScript to Ecma International, as the starting point for a standard specification.
  • Official release of the first ECMAScript language specification.

1999-2007: The showdown of Internet Explorer VS Mozilla Firefox

  • Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 5, that uses even more proprietary technology than before.
  • ECMAScript 2: Editorial changes to align ECMA-262 with the standard ISO/IEC 16262
  • ECMAScript 3: do-while, regular expressions, new string methods (concat, match, replace, slice, split with a regular expression, etc.), exception handling, and more
  • Firefox is released to compete with Internet Explorer.
  • Jesse James Garrett released a white paper in which he coined the term Ajax.

2008-2012: Netscape died, and Google Chrome was created

  • Netscape Navigator: end of life
  • ECMAScript 4 is officially abandoned.
  • Google releases the Chrome browser, the fastest web browser at the time.
  • Node.js was created by Ryan Dahl
  • ECMAScript 5 (formerly ECMAScript 3.1), that adds a strict mode, getters and setters, new array methods, support for JSON, and more.
  • TypeScript: a language for application-scale JavaScript development

2013-2014: from ASM.js to WebAssembly

  • ASM.js has been released
  • React, a JavaScript library for building user interfaces
  • “Disable Javascript” option removed in Firefox 23
  • Facebook Launches Flow, Static Type Checker for JavaScript

2015-2020: the rise of Node.js

  • Introduction of the Node.js Foundation
  • ECMAScript 6 (ES2015) is released.
  • WebAssembly
  • Object.observe withdrawn from TC39
  • Microsoft Edge’s JavaScript engine to go open-source
  • ECMAScript 2016 Language Specification
  • ECMAScript 2017 Language Specification
  • ECMA TC39: “SmooshGate” was officially resolved by renaming flatten to flat
  • ECMAScript 2018 Language Specification
  • JavaScript is now required to sign in to Google
  • ECMAScript modules in Node.js
  • ECMAScript 2019 Language Specification
  • QuickJS JavaScript Engine

2020-2022: Deno is created and Internet Explorer is officially retired

  • Deno: initial release
  • ECMAScript 2020 Language Specification
  • ECMAScript 2021 Language Specification
  • Deno joins TC39
  • Internet Explorer 11 has retired and is officially out of support

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