24 July 2019

The History of the JavaScript Code

When it comes to web, JavaScript continues to the most popular language. This post looks at the origins of the language and how it now powers robots and apps. However, it all started over 20 years ago with Sun Microsystems and Netscape. Understanding the history of JavaScript scripts or JS for short is vital as the language is used for website design, web design, website development and even web development. A web design company and a web development company find the language to be extremely useful.

What Is JavaScript and Where Did It Come From?

The de facto language of the internet is JavaScript. The origins of the language often get reduced to when Brendan Eich had created JavaScript in ten days for Netscape. Although true, it is worth exploring further.

Marc Andreessen is a developer who in 1993 had helped the National Center for Supercomputing Applications which is located at the University of Illinois to launch a user-friendly, graphical web browser by the name Mosaic. It was during that time that the internet was evolving from a text-based realm of hobbyists and into a more multimedia universe for computer users.

Subsequently, Andreessen founded the private Mosaic Communications Corporation and had published a commercial browser known as Mosaic Navigator in the year 1994. Later, the name had to be changed to Netscape due to a lawsuit. Netscape had a stellar IPO that set new records and Netscape Navigator was suddenly a hit.

In reply to this, Microsoft launched Internet Explorer. Andreessen knew that Netscape would need to get new features in order to maintain its dominance. Web browsers had to move beyond just display of static documents and to be able to truly run interactive software.

Java VS JavaScript

Then, in the year 1995, Netscape had brokered a deal with Sun Microsystems, another Microsoft competitor that was launching a major programming language known as Java. Syntax from C / C++ was borrowed by Java but compiled using Java byte code as it was portable. It ran on a different operating system. Users could execute Java programs as applets if they had both Navigator and the Java Virtual Machine.

Due to the fenced-off nature of Java, it meant that there would still be a need for a scripting language in order to enhance the web pages, validate form entries, animate drop-down menus, etc. As Sun had been positioning Java as the professional choice for embedded programs that were complex, the language was envisioned as a rather small approachable solution for page authors and designers. It could be directly written inside of HTML document and could be interpreted by the Navigator browser.

It was during the early 1995 that Brendan Eich had famously gotten contracted by Netscape so as to design a language on such an extreme deadline. The strict requirements that had been provided to Eich and his efforts at fulfilling them is what had led to the monumental effect on the nature of the web.

How Was JavaScript Designed?

Designing a language is one of the hardest things to, but it is also an opportunity. The thing about programming languages is that they express old idea through new ways and help popularize these alternative approaches.


Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs had been read by Eich, it is a landmark MIT textbook that features the language Scheme which combines a set of surprising power and flexibility with minimalist features. It does a lot with less.

Procedures can work on Scheme and generate ordinary data such as text, numbers, and work on other procedures, or even generate others, which is a defining characteristic for functional programming.

Eich had been recruited by Netscape in order to implement Scheme for the browser and have him a somewhat contradictory stipulation in which whatever he would come up with would mostly likely look like Java. This is why Eich created a quick proof of concept with the help of Java-based syntax for expressing Scheme-based capabilities. A unique style of object-oriented programming was then incorporated to this already unlikely combination.

A Unique Language

In object-oriented programming, procedures and data are encapsulated together into objects which would be defined with a hierarchy of abstract classes. When it comes to Java, it is considered to be one of the most object-oriented languages, with concepts of classes woven throughout it. Eich eschewed an all-encompassing and rigid flavor to OOP in Java. A unique style of OOBP was chosen by hum to create a relaxed prototypal inheritance and dynamic system that was inspired by the language Self. This allowed for objects to be created at will and to be linked to other objects, known as prototypes.

Comparatively, little syntax is added to a language with this prototypal inheritance, yet it is capable of simulating alternative or classical inheritance patterns. The following things were combined with this new language.

  • Features that were minimalist yet were flexible.
  • Object-oriented and core functional behavior from self and Scheme.
  • Control structures and superficialities from Java.

A tool that satisfied requirements was created by Eich. It looked like Java, was small and approachable, but had much greater potential as anyone had anticipated before. Internally, it was known as Mocha, but it got renamed to Live Script and then finally to JavaScript, though it has little resemblance to Java.

So why is JavaScript so Popular?

At first, JavaScript was far from loved. Java developers simply looked at it as a rather lesser entity for non-engineers. Some of the issues they had were the page elements such as form fields, UI glue with sparse tooling and the inheritance system.

Despite these issues, JavaScript quickly started being used, and the development of web page features and new tools simply outpaced the delivery of the actual Java applets. It led to Microsoft reverse-engineering JavaScript so that it could support Internet Explorer in 1996. However, the results were far from perfect.

JavaScript powers just about everything on the internet, apps and more. It is used by website design Singapore companies, Web Design Singapore companies, Web development Singapore companies, and Website development Singapore companies.



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