What is JavaScript?

Published on: 30 November 2019 Category: JavaScript

JavaScript is a scripting or programming language that allows you to implement complex things on web pages — every time a web page does more than just sit there and display static information for you to look at — displaying timely content updates, interactive maps, animated 2D/3D graphics, scrolling video jukeboxes, etc.

In 1993, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), a unit of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, released NCSA Mosaic, the first popular graphical Web browser, which played an important part in expanding the growth of the nascent World Wide Web beyond the NeXTSTEP niche where the WorldWideWeb had formed three years earlier. In 1994, a company called Mosaic Communications was founded in Mountain View, California and employed many of the original NCSA Mosaic authors to create Mosaic Netscape. However, it intentionally shared no code with NCSA Mosaic. The internal codename for the company's browser was Mozilla, a portmanteau of "Mosaic and Godzilla".[17] The first version of the Web browser, Mosaic Netscape 0.9, was released in late 1994. Within four months it had already taken three-quarters of the browser market and became the main web browser for the 1990s. To avoid trademark ownership problems with the NCSA, the browser was subsequently renamed Netscape Navigator in the same year, and the company took the name Netscape Communications. Netscape Communications realized that the Web needed to become more dynamic. Marc Andreessen, the founder of the company, believed that HTML needed a "glue language" that was easy to use by Web designers and part-time programmers to assemble components such as images and plugins, where the code could be written directly in the Web page markup.

In 1995, Netscape Communications recruited Brendan Eich with the goal of embedding the Scheme programming language into its Netscape Navigator.[18] Before he could get started, Netscape Communications collaborated with Sun Microsystems to include Sun's more static programming language, Java, in Netscape Navigator so as to compete with Microsoft for user adoption of Web technologies and platforms.[19] Netscape Communications then decided that the scripting language they wanted to create would complement Java and should have a similar syntax, which excluded adopting other languages such as Perl, Python, TCL, or Scheme. To defend the idea of JavaScript against competing proposals, the company needed a prototype. Eich wrote one in 10 days, in May 1995.[citation needed]

Although it was developed under the name Mocha, the language was officially called LiveScript when it first shipped in beta releases of Netscape Navigator 2.0 in September 1995, but it was renamed JavaScript when it was deployed in the Netscape Navigator 2.0 beta 3 in December.[2][20] The final choice of name caused confusion, giving the impression that the language was a spin-off of the Java programming language, and the choice has been characterized[21] as a marketing ploy by Netscape to give JavaScript the cachet of what was then the hot new Web programming language.

There is a common misconception that JavaScript was influenced by an earlier Web page scripting language developed by Nombas named Cmm (not to be confused with the later C-- created in 1997).[22][23] Brendan Eich, however, had never heard of Cmm before he created LiveScript. Nombas did pitch their embedded Web page scripting to Netscape, though Web page scripting was not a new concept, as shown by the ViolaWWW Web browser.[24] Nombas later switched to offering JavaScript instead of Cmm in their ScriptEase product and was part of the TC39 group that standardized ECMAScrip.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JAVASCRIPT