History and revolution of Javascript

JavaScript, a very easy to learn prototype-based scripting language, would have been dead by now if Google wouldn’t resurrected it with Gmail and Google maps in 2004 – 2005. AJAX technique also provide enough oxygen, to help it to be one of the most flexible and comprehensive scripting language of today’s age. May be with a bit of luck; may be because of some good agreements af few companies; but javascript has proven itself to be an excellent tool for the job time and again. It is not the language we are “stuck with”; it’s the language that may have inspired a great deal of evolution in popular languages in general. And for that, you can thank Brendan Eich and any contemporaries who helped put the idea into his head.

How it become JavaScript

Javascript was created as fast as it runs in browsers. Yes, it was created in just 10 days by Brendan Eich, an engineer of Netscape (now working with Mozilla) in May 1995. At the time of creation it was named as Mocha (yes, that’s the original name of javascript) by Marc Andreessen, founder of Netscape. In September, when it first shipped in beta releases of Netscape Navigator 2.0, it was renamed to LiveScript, trying to make the name similar to its functionality. But in the month of December of that year, it was again renamed to JavaScript, after receiving a trademark license from Sun; probably a marketing strategy as Sun’s JAVA was already very popular in the market.

 A little history of javascript

After it got its name “JavaScript”, it was then taken to ECMA in 1996-97 to design a standard specification, which other browsers can implement, based on the work Netscape had done.

Not to be left behind Internet Explorer was soon updated to support not one but two integrated languages. One was called vbscript and was based on the BASIC programming language and the other one was called Jscript, which didn’t really had much differences with JavaScript.

At the time Netscape Navigator was by far the more popular browser and so later versions of Internet Explorer implemented versions of Jscript that were sort of clones of Javascript. By the time that Internet Explorer became the dominant browser Javascript had become the accepted standard for writing interactive processing to be run in the web browser.

But after that, Javascript didn’t really improve much; and by 2004 it was in a dead condition. After AJAX became popular through Google’s auto suggest, and maps; Javascript got a new life and after that it’s golden era starts with the age of frameworks.

Golden era starts with jQuery

When jQuery came into picture, it just catches the eyes of everyone. It made the development dramatically simple. The number of lines in code went down, performance was increased, things became less time consuming, easy to learn and lot other features were added. People started developing lot of open source plugins basing on jquery, which with the help of HTML5, started challenging the most popular animation script, “Action Script”.

When Apple refused to add flash support in iOS, and HTML5 jQuery started providing very nice and light weight animation features even for mobile; the world also started getting biased towards HTML5, jQuery, and the father of jQuery, that is JavaScript.

MV* is the pro

Web apps, or to be more specific, single-paged web app development using only JavaScript or frameworks like jQuery or mootools is not really that much developer friendly. This was the cause behind the birth of frameworks like backbone.js which became the most popular framework in very short period of time because of its features like data binding. After backbone many other framework trees like batman, canjs, ember and many more grew in the forest of JavaScript frameworks. And there are some HTML compilers like Angular also who converted the MVC concept to MV* (Model View Whatever). This MV* approach really changed the concept of web development. Now huge projects can also be developed very easily, with better looks and performance, lesser server load, optimized data transfer and lot more.

The future

Well, from 1995 to 2013, from Netscape to the rest of the world, from Mocha to Angular, the journey is really revolutionary. And if this is the rate of acceleration, then ofcource the future is going to be something unimaginable. A scripting language, where everything is an object; no matter whether it’s an array, function, list, variable, class or whatever. Just think how dynamic and flexible a language can be.

Day by day, the client devices are getting more and more efficient; and due to the jumping increasing rate of internet addicts, the load on the servers are going to be in future are huge.

One of the very effective solution for this is making your client side more intelligent, interactive, smart to call data, effective processing; and all those indicates that our young JavaScript is going to have a lot more roles in future.

About This Author

Hello! I am Paul Shan, a JavaScript Expert, Full Stack and DevOps Engineer cum Consultant based out of Bengaluru, India.