What is Javascript

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By Vijay Singh Khatri

As a web developer, you must be aware of the JavaScript language. Even a computer science student is eager to learn JavaScript, but why is it so? Why is JavaScript such a popular programming language? As we are in 2022, we can see a recurring trend in the programming world, which is the hype around learning and implementing JavaScript in businesses. We are sure in this new decade, JavaScript is going to be the core programming language that will bring a change in the computing world. According to one of the surveys done by Stack Overflow, JavaScript topped the charts as the most popular technology in 2022 (source). In the year 2020, around 70% of the professional developers from all over the world were using JavaScript as their base programming language for different projects (source).

In this article, we are going to discuss why and how JavaScript has reached the top of the programming world. Also, we will deduce how it’s going to compete for the top spot of the best programming language of the decade.

History of JavaScript

The main reason for JavaScript to be so popular is its simplicity and the broad range of applications that can be created by using this programming language. As a developer, if you learn JavaScript, you will be able to develop various applications such as mobile apps, software, browser-based applications, and even non-Internet environment applications such as video games and music players. For a student, the knowledge of JavaScript opens vistas of career opportunities. The things we mentioned above are just a drop of water in the sea of features and benefits which a developer gets to enjoy once they master the skill of developing projects using JavaScript.

JavaScript is everywhere around you, and with the rise of the Internet in our lives, we will see the use of JavaScript a lot more. But it might come as a shocker to you that JavaScript, which is so well used today, was built out of necessity in the first place. Some of the most significant websites on the Internet, such as Facebook, YouTube, Wikipedia, Amazon, etc. were all built using JavaScript. Even Google Maps, which is the most popular Map application for Android and iOS mobile platforms, was developed by using JavaScript as the base programming language. But what started it all, and how come JavaScript became a necessity for the web developer? So without wasting any time further, let’s dive in and talk about the history of JavaScript.

The Origin

Since its first official release, JavaScript has taken over Java completely. Along with this, other programming languages like Flash, Lisp, and Haskell too went extinct after the arrival of JavaScript. The only reason is that JavaScript is an easy-to-learn language that can do a lot with less code. The beginning of the 90s was the most crucial time for the Internet. During those times, Netscape and Microsoft were busy fighting the browser wars, in which Netscape’s in-house developed Navigator was taking on Microsoft’s Internet Explorer head-on.

During that decade, in the summer of 1995, one of the programmers in Netscape named Brandan Eich invented a new scripting language Mocha in just 10 days. Later on, Mocha was renamed as LiveScript, which was further rechristened as the JavaScript that we all know.

ECMA Creation

JavaScript further led to the creation of the European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA), so that they can create the language specification. The organization also aimed to standardize computing in 1997. In their very first year, the organization labeled JavaScript as Jscript and Actionscript as ECMAscript language. They also formulated the ECMA specification called ECMA-262. For the next three years, ECMA came out with three revisions of ECMA-262. However, after 10 years of its establishment, version 4 was abandoned due to the differences in the opinions of the organization’s council members.

2005 – A Big Year

In 2005, a paper was released by Jesse James Garrett in which he introduced many technologies that included JavaScript. The name of the suite was Ajax. The main objective behind the development of Ajax was to make the user experience better for the web pages and web applications. With Ajax, JavaScript once again came into the spotlight, and more professional programmers started implementing JavaScript in one way or the other in their projects. Also, the paper released by Garrett is considered to be the backbone of the JavaScript community.

During the initial years, developers have to face several challenges while working with JavaScript. One of the most common issues with JavaScript was its verbose nature. This took a lot of time and effort while creating a simple task using the script. Once the paper was released, a community around it was built that expanded with time and gave us the famous JavaScript frameworks that we now see and use in our projects. Some of the standard JavaScript frameworks created by the community are Dojo, MooTools, and jQuery.

Position of JavaScript in the Upcoming Decade

Indeed, JavaScript had a rocky start, but without a doubt, it came out stronger and has become the most popular programming language in the world right now. According to the Octoverse report on Github in 2018, the JavaScript repository present on the platform had the highest number count from all the other languages, and even now, the number is constantly increasing.

There are so many repositories, frameworks, and libraries to choose from when working with JavaScript. As a result, if a developer is looking to create a powerful web application with a small team in a limited amount of time, his best shot is to use JavaScript to complete the task with perfection in the given time frame. In the coming decade, we are going to see the use of small reusable components which can be customized according to the developer’s needs. This is going to be the next breakthrough in the development of JavaScript as a programming language. Whatever may be the next big thing in the world of JavaScript, it is undoubtedly going to bring more and more developers on board with its usage.

Difference Between JavaScript and Java

For those who have just started their journey as JavaScript developers, it might sound a bit strange to say that there is a difference between Java and JavaScript. But it is the most fundamental thing that a developer must know before facing the job interview. The first thing you need to know is that the language which was developed by Netscape, which is JavaScript, is not a subpart of the Java platform. With the use of JavaScript, you won’t be able to create applets or even stand-alone applications. You need other programming languages along with markup languages to create a running web application.

One of the typical implementations of JavaScript code in any program is by using it within the HTML documents. This helps a web page to have a level of interactivity which is not possible with a simple HTML markup language. This clarifies that both Java and JavaScript were developed for two completely different purposes.

Java was developed in 1991 by Sun Microsystems, and during its initial years, it was used to program consumer electronics such as VCRs. On the other hand, if we look at the JavaScript initial operations, it was used to work with Java and handle the client-side scripting operations that run on the client’s browser without being compiled.

To make you better understand the difference between Java and JavaScript, given below are the main differences.

Compiled vs. Interpreted

When using Java, you need to compile whatever code you have written, no matter how small or big it is. But if we compare this with JavaScript, we get to know that JavaScript is the interpreted scripting language. One of the significant differences lies in their implementation. Java uses bytecode and virtual machine, while JavaScript doesn’t need both of these, and it can be compiled straight from the browser and doesn’t need any extra program at all. Moreover, with the addition of JIT compiling, now a user can even compile the JavaScript in the bytecode.

Static vs. Dynamic Type Checking

When you are working with Java, you will be using Static Type Checking, which means once the code is written, its variable will be checked during the compile-time. Thus, a developer needs to specify the type of variable when creating them. JavaScript, on the other hand, uses Dynamic typing, which is something very common in scripting languages, and as a result, type safety is verified at runtime. One thing you need to keep in mind is that you are not required to specify the type of variable.

There are pros and cons for the two paradigms, but the main advantage goes to Static Type Checking because it helps a developer to find out the issues in the code during the early stage. Also, in the case of the Static Type, a compiler knows which data type is used, and thus, it can quickly execute the code by using less memory. Likewise, the main benefit of using Dynamic Type Checking is that it allows developers to be more productive in terms of writing their code as a developer is free to assign types at his leisure.


Concurrency stands for the ability of a programming language to be able to execute many instructions at one time. The Concurrency in both JavaScript and Java is handled equity uniquely. With Java, you will be using multiple threads which are present in your CPU to get the machine to perform tasks in parallel. On the other hand, JavaScript exists as Node.js in server-side applications. Thus, its Concurrency is handled by one main thread, which is used for execution, and it performs the forking system known as Node clustering and event loop, which is nothing but a queue system for the instructions that need to be executed.

In most cases, both types of concurrency methods will work just fine, but if we compare the speed of these two, we will find that Java is generally faster in handling Concurrency. Because it uses thread-to-thread memory sharing, which is relatively quicker than the JavaScript way of handling the Concurrency using Interprocess Communication (IPC).

Class-based vs. Prototype-based Inheritance

With Java, you will be working with the class-based inheritance, which follows a top-down, hierarchical, class-based relationship in which a developer needs to have defined the properties in the class, and these properties are inherited by an instance of that class. If we compare this methodology with JavaScript’s inheritance, we will find out that JavaScript uses Prototype-based inheritance. This means, all the objects which are used in the code can inherit straight from the other objects defined. In JavaScript, Hierarchy is done by assigning one of the objects as a prototype with the addition of the constructor function.


So this is what JavaScript is all about, and that’s how JavaScript is different from Java, and both of these can’t be used interchangeably. JavaScript provides unprecedented possibilities. Thus it tempts web developers to learn JavaScript and write less to perform more. Right now, JavaScript is one of the best programming languages which is native to the web browser, and it comes with the lowest threshold, making it easier for students to learn this programming language in a short time.

Finally, with JavaScript, you can create almost any app, software, and program. Thus, we can say that JavaScript is going to play an important role in the performance of forthcoming apps on smartphones and desktops.

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