Introduction

JavaScript is a high level, scripting language. JavaScript is now very popular and known as the language of the web.

It requires an environment like a browser or Node.js to run. Programming languages like Java can be compiled and an executable file can be created out of it. But, scripting language like JavaScript requires the support of its hosting environment to work.

History

In 1993, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications(NCSA) released NCSA Mosaic browser. It was the first popular graphical web browser.

NCSA Mosaic Browser
NCSA Mosaic Browser

In 1994, a new company called Mosaic Communications was founded in Mountain View, California. They hired many original NCSA Mosaic authors to create a new browser called Mosaic Netscape. The internal codename of the browser was Mozilla, which is a combination of Mosaic and Godzilla. The new web browser, Mosaic Netscape 0.9 was released in 1994.

Mosaic Netscape Browser
Mosaic Netscape Browser

Within 4 months, Mosaic Netscape took 75% of browser market. To avoid trademark problem with NCSA, the browser was renamed to Netscape Navigator and Mosaic Communications was renamed to Netscape Communications.

Netscape Communications realized the browser needed a language to make it more dynamic. In 1995, company recruited Brendan Eich with the goal of embedding Scheme programming language to Netscape Navigator.

Brendan Eich
Brendan Eich

Before starting his work, Netscape Communications collaborated with Sun Microsystems to compete with Microsoft. So then the plan was to create a language complementing Java. Based on that, JavaScript was created by Brendan Eich in 1995. He took inspiration from 3 languages, Java, Self and Scheme to create JavaScript. JavaScript derives its syntax from Java, its first-class functions from Scheme and its prototype based inheritance from Self.

ECMAScript

When Brendan Eich developed JavaScript, it was initially called Mocha. Later renamed to LiveScript and then JavaScript. Netscape Navigator 2.0 was released with JavaScript. Later Microsoft came up with their own version of the language, jScript. The non-standardized way of JavaScript feature enhancement by different browser owners was creating a lot of problem for cross-browser compatibility.

In November 1996, Netscape submitted the language for standardization to ECMA(European Computer Manufacturer's Association). The standardized version of the language was called ECMAScript. They could not take the name of JavaScript, due to trademark issues with Sun Microsystems at that time. Now the term JavaScript is owned by Oracle.

JavaScript Trademark Information
JavaScript Trademark Information

JavaScript is the most happening programming language. When we observe the trend in last few years, JavaScript maintains its top position and it will be like that in near future.

JavaScript Position
JavaScript maintaining top position