The History of Javascript

The Javascript language is one of the most useful to come along in the history of the world wide web. It allows websites to be built that are much more interactive than the ones that came before them. Javascript was actually created to make better web browsers but it soon became obvious that it was also useful for website developers. The result is the world wide web that we know today, with all of its interactivity.

javascript historyJavascript was created during the mid nineties as a way to make web browsers more interactive. Up until that time most websites were very dull as they usually contained little besides text and had almost no interactivity. In order to address this problem when Netscape were developing their updated version of the Navigator browser they created Javascript in order to allow them to build a browser that would be more functional. With this they were very successful and Javascript soon became widely used for a number of other applications as well.

The main use of Javascript quickly went from building a better web browser to building a better website. It is used mainly to build dynamic web pages. A dynamic web page is simply one that shows new content every time somebody visits. In the early days of the web this wasn’t possible because of the limitations of HTML. It was really the development of PHP that made dynamic sites possible. However even this proved to be of limited value. What was really needed was a coding language that would allow for the development of sites that weren’t just dynamic but actually interactive. This is something that Javascript made possible. On our own web site, we use Javascript intensely to make the page talk to the visitors as naturally as possible. It takes some skill, but it’s actually surprisingly simple.

Unlike most other programing languages that are used to create web pages it soon became apparent that there were a number of other potential uses for Javascript. Not only is it used to create web pages it is widely used in the development of PDF documents. This allows documents to be interactive as well. Javascript is also widely used in the development of desk top applications. The main reason for the popularity of Javascript is that it is a fairly easy language to learn and to code with.

One of the areas that has caused some controversy with Javascript is the name. It of course has a similar name to the popular programming language Java. In fact there is no relationship between them at all. They were developed completely independently of each other. However Sun Microsystems who did develop Java were involved in the announcement of the name, adding to the confusion. Most people have viewed this as a marketing ploy, a way to attract attention Netscape’s new browser. Although exactly what was in it for Sun Microsystems was never quite clear. Clearly some sort of arrangement was made but just what that is we are unlikely to ever know.