JavaScript History

JavaScript

JavaScript is the language of the web. Most of the modern web browsers and the majority of websites rely on this language. Moreover, JavaScript has become the most popular programming language used over the internet due to the applicability that allows users to interact with the websites.

JavaScript, previously known as Mocha, was developed by Brendan Eich during his work in the Netscape Communication Corporation (Calif, 1995). The first release of JavaScript was in September 1995, under the name of LiveScript. Subsequently, the language was renamed to JavaScript. The reason behind renaming it is that Netscape wanted to add support to Java language in their Netscape web browser. JavaScript was influenced by the C language. Netscape adopted a server side scripting implementation using JavaScript in December 1994 before releasing JavaScript for the internet browser. Currently, the most popular server side JavaScript is node.js. After JavaScript gained wide success as a client-side language for web pages, it was adopted by Microsoft, who supported the JavaScript language in their Internet Explorer (IE) browser version 3.0, which was released in August 1996 (Microsoft News Center, 1996). In addition, Microsoft supported server-side scripting using JavaScript in the Internet Information Server (IIS) release 3.0 in 1996. In September 2008, Google released their Chrome web browser (Google Code, 2008). Google’s browser runs over a JavaScript engine called V8, also developed by Google. The strength of Google’s engine lies in its ability to compile JavaScript directly into native machine code before execution to increase the performance of Chrome (Google Developers, 2012). The V8 engine uses a variety of optimization techniques that include inline caching, elision of expensive runtime properties and inlining.

This appealed to Ryan Dahl in the beginning of 2009 when he adopted V8 in his project to build a new application platform (Handy, 2011). By the end of 2009, Node.js was in version 0.1.24 and still in its infancy. Over the next years Node.js gained wide popularity, and by May 2012 Node.js showed no signs of slowing down (Joyent, 2009).