A human footprint in sand

JavaScript was a development of the Netscape 2 browser in 1995. Originally known as LiveScript, it underwent a name change for marketing purposes, in response to the attention the Java programming language was receiving at the time. It is important to understand that Java is not JavaScript: the two are entirely different languages:

JavaJava is a fully-fledged programming language with the ability to create stand-alone programs. Today, it has found its niche in server-side solutions and embedded software.

JSJavaScript is not a programming language: it cannot create an executable application. JavaScript has little functional use without a web page to run on.

Please do not confuse JavaScript with Java: it is a newbie’s mistake, and a quick way to terminate a job interview.

During the browser wars of the late 90’s, several different flavors of JavaScript were created. Netscape continued with its version, while Microsoft released an alternative called JScript. Finally, a standardized version, known as ECMAScript, was codified. Technically, we should be referring to JavaScript today as ECMAScript, but we’ll continue to keep with convention and use the former term.

With JavaScript standardized, there was one more hurdle for the scripting language to overcome before it could be accepted as a robust web development tool: complete control of the DOM, which we will look at next.

Photograph by Nishant Chinnam, used under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 2.0 Generic license

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