Evolution of JavaScript versions – Everything You Need to Know

Evolution of JavaScript versions – Everything You Need to Know

JavaScript is one of the most well-known globally used software languages in today’s generation. It has been there since 1995 but has gone under immense changes and upgrades. This programming language was invented by Brendan Eich. By 1997 it became an ECMA standard. Today we will discuss the origin of this amazing programming language as well as its’ version development throughout the years. This article will help you understand JavaScript more in-depth and hence will also help you to use it to the fullest.

World without JavaScript

Most of the websites were static before any JavaScript versions came into existence. Developers used to create web pages with core HTML concepts like lists, links, tables, and so on. Any type of dynamic changes was encoded in the head tag of the HTML document. Time passed but web pages were still static.

Then CSS came into play in the 1990s still there was no change because CSS was only able to style the static pages. Developers saw this problem and decided to create a software language that would add some dynamic interactions and logic to the static websites which gave rise to JavaScript.

Origin of JavaScript

The first version of JavaScript was known as Mocha. It was created to be a high-level software language. Once it was taken by Netscape Navigator 2.0, its name was again changed to LiveScript. Due to some legal issues, Microsoft created its own JavaScript version called JScript. But they still could not outplay JavaScript. However, Internet Explorer started gaining popularity at that time.

This causes complexity in terms of standardization. In all this mess, JavaScript slowly inched towards Java in terms of syntax and working. As Java started gaining more momentum in terms of development and popularity, JavaScript also flourished. Note that Java and JavaScript are nothing alike. Java and JavaScript are different programming languages and have different use cases.

History of JavaScript Version

The very first JavaScript version was ES1 also known as ECMAScript 1. It was released in 1997, followed by the release of ES2 the next year. In 1999, ES3 came with support for many new concepts like regular, linear, constructor expressions, and try-catch block statements. This JavaScript version also introduced a switch case statement and a do while loop. ES3 was the last major release for almost 10 years.

JavaScript version
JavaScript version

ES5 JavaScript version

After ES3, ES5 was released in 2009. Major changes were made in this JavaScript version. This led to the complete evolution of JavaScript and web development in the technology industry.

Here are the new features the ES5 JavaScript version supported:

  • Use of Strict: Undeclared variables were permitted but it did not support good programming. Hence the “use strict” when used would throw a reference error.
  • Array Methods: A wide range of array methods were created to make it easy for developers to work with arrays. For instance, the every() method checks to see if all elements in the array have fulfilled the required stated condition or not. Then, filter() and map() worked as if statements for JavaScript Arrays. Many other functions like forEach(), indexOf(), lastIndexOf(), isArray(), reduce(), reduceRight() and some() were introduced as well.
  • JSON: ES5 made it possible to parse and stringify JavaScript Object Notations also known as JSON.
  • Date Methods: Two new date methods were released in this JavaScript version as well. They are Date.now() and Date().valueOf(). Internet Explorer might not support the Date.now() method.
  • Accessors: The concept of an accessor was introduced as well. Their main purpose was to either get a certain value or set the value. This was known as getter and setter.

ES6 JavaScript version 

Again, after a gap of seven years, in June 2015, ES6 was introduced. Currently, it is the standard used by all. Here is the striking feature of the ES6 JavaScript version:

  • Big Arrow Functions: These were used to create functions where the function keyword was a necessity. But in this JavaScript version, one could create one-liner functions with an implicit return. Due to this, there was no need for curly braces as well. Also no need to use the bind() method anymore for arrow functions.
  • Class: JavaScript makes use of Prototypal inheritance. But from the ES6 JavaScript version, classical inheritance was introduced. This cuts down the number of lines of code while maintaining the functionality of the code.
  • Destructing: One of the best ways to reduce code cluttering or increase code readability is to make it palatable. Unpacking or destructing the code or object makes it portable and highly easy to reuse.


There have been yearly updates of the ES6 JavaScript version. Hence, make sure to keep checking the documentation to keep yourself up-to-date with the most recent development in technology. Now you are familiar with the various JavaScript versions available and how they have evolved. Please include your doubts in the comment section below if you have any. Also, ensure to check out Codedamn if you are unfamiliar with JavaScript or have no idea where and how to start your web development journey! The courses and articles here at Codedamn will make you a pro in coding in no time!

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