25th Anniversary

The JavaScript language was created in 1995, initially developed in May and released to the public in December of that same year. Thus, 2020 marks its 25th Anniversary--certainly a huge milestone for this language that has become one of the most popular.

The 25th Anniversary of JavaScript presents itself as a great opportunity for the community to look back in history and forward towards the future. What were the major milestones that marked its history and how will this already popular language evolve even further?

The language itself and the community behind it has a rich history. JavaScript has been key to the formation of the World Wide Web. Organizations like the Mozilla Foundation, the W3C, and Ecma have played a major role in developing the language, and projects like jQuery and Node.js have contributed significantly in demonstrating JavaScript’s potential capabilities both on the client side as well on the server side.

As for the future of JavaScript, one thing is clear: collaboration is key. The “Browser Wars” have come and gone, and neither users nor developers want to relive the problems brought by the lack of interoperability. Fortunately, open source has prevailed and represents the way forward in terms of development and governance of the JavaScript language and community.

To celebrate the 25 years of JavaScript, please find below the top milestones that have shaped its history:

World Wide Web

March 1989

While working at CERN, Tim Berners-Lee laid out his vision for what would become the web in a document called "Information Management: A Proposal." [Read More]

First Website

August 6, 1991

The first website went live on August 6, 1991. It was dedicated to the World Wide Web project itself and was hosted on Tim Berners-Lee's NeXT computer. [Read More]


June 1993

NCSA Mosaic was the web browser that popularized the World Wide Web. Marc Andreessen and Eric Bina developed Mosaic while at NCSA at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. It was first published in June 1993. [Read More]


September 9, 1994

Marc Andreessen and Jim Clark founded what would become Netscape Communications Corporation and launched their first browser on September 9, 1994. Originally it was called Mosaic Netscape, but it was renamed as Netscape Navigator to avoid trademark problems with NCSA. The internal codename for the browser was Mozilla, which stood for "Mosaic killer" and indeed it rapidly became the most popular browser. [Read More]


May 1995

Marc Andreessen imagined a more dynamic Web and believed that a language easy to use by Web designers was needed. He recruited Brendan Eich, who in 10 days wrote a prototype for the Netscape browser in May 1995. The language was first called Moca, later LiveScript, and finally renamed JavaScript (to serve as a companion language to Java). The official public announcement of JavaScript was on December 4, 1995. [Read More]


August 1996

Microsoft reverse-engineered Netscape's JavaScript to create JScript and made it part of Internet Explorer 3. The introduction of proprietary, non-standards-compliant extensions made it difficult for developers to make a single website that worked well in all browsers. Eventually Internet Explorer became the dominant software in the browser wars. [Read More]

ECMAscript 1

June 1997

Netscape submitted JavaScript to ECMA International to create a standard specification, which other browser vendors could then implement. This led to the official release of the language specification ECMAScript in June 1997. [Read More]


January 23, 1998

On January 23, 1998, with a steep drop in the browser market share, Netscape announced that it would release the source code of Netscape Communicator 5.0 in the hopes that it would become a popular open source project. That's how the Mozilla project was born. [Read More]


March 1999

Microsoft shipped a primordial form of XMLHttpRequest with Internet Explorer 5.0 in March 1999. XMLHttpRequest is an API to transfer data between a web browser and a web server which would prove useful in the future. [Read More]

ECMAscript 3

December 1999

This edition added regular expressions, better string handling, new control statements, try/catch exception handling, tighter definition of errors, formatting for numeric output and other enhancements. This was the edition that prevailed for a decade due to stagnation of ECMAscript 4. [Read More]


April 2001

Douglas Crockford specified JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), a lightweight data-interchange format based on a subset of JavaScript. JSON data is easier to load and work with in the frontend, and by the end of the decade would supersede XML as a data-interchange format on the Web. [Read More]


November 9, 2004

Firefox began as an experimental branch of the Mozilla project by Dave Hyatt, Joe Hewitt, and Blake Ross in 2002. To combat what they saw as the Mozilla Suite's software bloat, they created a stand-alone browser, first named Phoenix, later Firebird, and finally Firefox. Firefox version 1.0 was released on November 9, 2004. Firefox's speed, usability, and marketing helped it gain market share against Internet Explorer. Within five years of launching, Firefox accounted for nearly a third of all web browsing. [Read More]


February 18, 2005

Jesse James Garrett coined the term AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript + XML) to describe the asynchronous technologies behind emerging web applications like GMail and Google Maps, which allowed web pages to change content dynamically without the need to reload. [Read More]


August 2006

jQuery is a JavaScript library that was designed by John Resig to simplify HTML DOM tree traversal and manipulation, as well as event handling, CSS animation, and AJAX. Other JavaScript frameworks/libraries launched during this period include Mootools and Prototype. [Read More]

Google Chrome

December 2008

Google released the Chrome browser on December 11, 2008, using the same WebKit rendering engine as Safari and a faster JavaScript engine called V8. Shortly after, an open-sourced version for the Windows, OS X, and Linux platforms was released under the name Chromium. With a rapid release cycle and a focus on speed, Google Chrome eventually overtook all other browsers. [Read More]


March 2009

Node.js was initially developed by Ryan Dahl in March 2009 based on Google's open source V8 JavaScript engine. It paved way to the use of JavaScript on Web servers. Node.js functions are non-blocking, allowing the server to handle a high load of concurrent connections. It represents a 'JavaScript everywhere' paradigm, unifying web-application development around a single programming language. [Read More]



npm (originally short for Node Package Manager) is a package manager for the JavaScript programming language developed by Isaac Z. Schlueter. The npm Registry is a public collection of packages of open-source code for Node.js, front-end web apps, mobile apps, and other applications. [Read More]


December 3, 2009

ECMAScript 5, the incremental upgrade to ECMAScript 3, was released in December 2009, more than a decade after ECMAScript 3. The ambitious ECMAScript 4 was officially abandoned and under the codenamed Harmony some features became ECMAScript 6. Other features of the original ECMAScript 4 plan would be dropped to be adopted in subsequent versions. A renewed resolve was formed that any new ideas would be developed with the consensus of the entire TC39 in order to prevent the potential for future schisms. [Read More]


October 20, 2010

AngularJS was released in October 2010 by Misko Hevery and it quickly became the most popular JavaScript MVC framework. It offered two-way data binding, dependency injection, routing package and much more. Other JavaScript frameworks/libraries launched during this period include Backbone, Ember, and Knockout. The project was succeeded by Angular in 2016, a complete rewrite of AngularJS led by the Angular Team at Google. [Read More]


October 12, 2012

TypeScript, a superset of JavaScript that adds static types to the language, was first made public in October 2012 (at version 0.8), after two years of internal development at Microsoft.


May 29, 2013

React is a JavaScript library for building composable user interfaces developed by Jordan Walke and open-sourced in 2013. It's maintained by Facebook and a community of individual developers and companies. [Read More]


February 25, 2014

Vue.js is an open-source model–view–viewmodel front end JavaScript framework for building user interfaces and single-page applications created by Evan You. The first source code commit to the project was dated July 2013, and Vue was first released the following February, in 2014. [Read More]


October 25, 2016

Next.js is an open-source React framework created by Vercel. It uniquely satisfies the needs of both static and dynamic websites and applications. Next.js’ Incremental Static Regeneration gives users all the capabilities of a Static Site Generator, with the ability to add infinite numbers of pages and update them later – without rebuilding the entire site. [Read More]


November 26, 2016

Svelte is a free and open-source front end JavaScript framework created by Rich Harris. Svelte runs at build time, converting components into highly efficient imperative code that surgically updates the DOM. [Read More]


March 2017

WebAssembly (abbreviated Wasm) is a binary instruction format for a stack-based virtual machine. Wasm is designed as a portable target for compilation of high-level languages like C/C++/Rust, enabling deployment on the web for client and server applications. The precursor technologies were asm.js from Mozilla and Google Native Client. [Read More]

OpenJS Foundation

March 12, 2019

The OpenJS Foundation was formed from a merger of the JS Foundation and the Node.js Foundation in March 2019. The mission of the OpenJS Foundation is to support the healthy growth of JavaScript and web technologies by providing a neutral organization to host and sustain projects, as well as collaboratively fund activities that benefit the ecosystem as a whole. [Read More]


May 13, 2020

Deno is a runtime for JavaScript and TypeScript that is based on the V8 JavaScript engine and the Rust programming language. It was created by Ryan Dahl, original creator of Node.js. It was announced by him on JSConf EU 2018 in his talk "10 Things I Regret About Node.js". Deno explicitly takes on the role of both runtime and package manager within a single executable, rather than requiring a separate package-management program. [Read More]