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A Brief History of JavaScript

Almost every site that you visit uses Javascript in some fashion. Without it, websites would be pretty boring and you wouldn’t be able do all the things you know and love. These days, Javascript hasn’t just taken over the web but your mobile devices as well. You probably don’t realize it, but many of the apps on your iPhone, android, and tablets that are written in good ole Javascript.

Early Stages

Javascript was initially shipped with Netscape back in the day in hopes of giving end users a better overall experience. The language was so successful and grew so popular that it was submitted and accepted to ECMA International for consideration as an industry standard. Later, the introduction of asynchronous behavior (think, no page reloads when browsing a website), paved the way for JavaScript to be the de-facto language of the web.

JQuery to the Rescue

The ability to leverage Javascript and create dynamic websites that engaged users showed a lot of promise. As more and more people started adding Javascript in their websites, it became clear that there was a need to standardize the way things were done. Being the quick and dirty language that Javascript is, it was very easy for anyone to create a website, write some JavaScript to make their sites interactive. The challenge was ensuring that the code written in one browser would work correctly across all versions of all browsers. It became clear that there needed to be a solution to address this problem. Developers should think about making their site fun and interactive, not with the intricacies of JavaScript and how to make sure it worked across the board. JQuery was born to address this problem and became so popular that it was synonymous was JavaScript.Its popularity went so far that developers who did not know or use JQuery were not considered “good” JavaScript developers. The claim was not without merit, JQuery revolutionized web development and took care of cross-browser nuisances that took away from creating an innovative experience for the websites or webapps target audience. JQuery also made it much easier to improve navigation, animate, and respond to events.

The Future

Although JQuery made great strides in its ability to sync up with different browsers and ensure that building websites was an easy task, it was still was far from perfect. JQuery’s flexible nature allowed the same thing to be accomplished in different ways, which sometimes made it difficult for different web developers working on the same website to understand what was going on. JQuery also required html and javascript to be tied very closely together; naming needed to be explicitly mapped and there needed to be a lot of manual manipulation. To address this problem, various frameworks (which still leveraged JQuery) were came into play to lessen the “mess” that JQuery created. Many solutions to this problem came out KnockoutJS was developed by Microsoft and AngularJS by Google, and many others. Although KnockoutJS was dominating the industry the AngularJS community overtook the world of Javascript making it the go to framework in web development. How? We’ll leave that for another day