JavaScript History
JavaScript Basics

JavaScript History

JavaScript was created by Brendan Eich in 1995 and quickly became a fundamental web technology. Initially developed for Netscape 2, it was standardized as ECMA-262 in 1997. Here’s a concise overview of its evolution:

  • 1995: JavaScript was created by Brendan Eich.
  • 1996: Release of Netscape 2 with JavaScript 1.0.
  • 1997:some text
    • JavaScript was standardized as ECMA-262.
    • ECMAScript 1 (ES1) released and first supported by Internet Explorer 4.
  • 1998:some text
    • ECMAScript 2 (ES2) released.
    • Release of Netscape 4.2 with JavaScript 1.3.
  • 1999:some text
    • Internet Explorer 5 first supported ES2.
    • ECMAScript 3 (ES3) released.
  • 2000:some text
    • Internet Explorer 5.5 first supported ES3.
    • Release of Netscape 6.2 and Firefox 1 with JavaScript 1.5.
  • 2008: Plans for ECMAScript 4 were abandoned.
  • 2009: ECMAScript 5 (ES5) released, marking a significant update that was fully supported by all major browsers by 2014.
  • 2015: ECMAScript 6 (ES6), or ES2015, released, achieving full browser support by 2017.

TC39 and ECMAScript Development

  • 1996: JavaScript was handed over to the ECMA international standards organization, establishing the Technical Committee 39 (TC39).
  • 1997: First edition of ECMA-262 released.

The Divide and Resolution Between ES4 and ES3.1

In 2008, the TC39 was split over the direction of JavaScript’s development, with major tech companies divided into two camps:

  • ES3.1 Camp: Pushed by Microsoft and Yahoo for minor updates from ES3.
  • ES4 Camp: Supported by Adobe, Mozilla, Opera, and Google for substantial upgrades.

This divide was resolved by renaming ECMAScript 4 to ECMAScript 5, aiming for an incremental update from ES3 and incorporating more ambitious ES4 features into future versions. The next major update, codenamed "Harmony", led to the successful release of ES5 in 2009 and ES6 in 2015.

Modern Developments

  • ES5: Fully supported by mid-2013 with features that enhanced JavaScript's capabilities.
  • ES6: Known for introducing classes, modules, and arrow functions, fully supported across all major browsers by 2017.

This streamlined narrative highlights the critical milestones in the development of JavaScript and its standardization as ECMAScript, illustrating its evolution from a simple client-side scripting language to a robust, foundational technology of the web.

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