Evolution of JavaScript from ES1 to ES2020


Today, I will discuss the Evolution of JavaScript from ES1 to ES2020. Before going into the details of different versions, I will discuss JavaScript in brief. Basically, it is a language of the web and runs on a browser. In contrast to other programming languages, JavaScipt is interpreted.

While HTML and CSS provide the structure and style to a web page, JavaScript adds the functionality. In other words, using JavaScript in a web page makes the web page interactive and allows you to dynamically add the HTML elements on the web page.

Evolution of JavaScript from ES1 to ES2020

The 1990s have seen the most crucial development on the Internet. In 1995, Netscape launched a new scripting language called JavaScript. It is important to realize that the first appearance of JavaScript occurred in September 1995. The JavaScript was developed by Brandan Eich who was a programmer in Netscape. Initially, it was called LiveScript and then further renamed as JavaScript.

ECMAScript and JavaScript

After its initial appearance in 1995, JavaScript has grown rapidly and it was felt that this scripting language should be properly maintained. Therefore, in 1997 Netscape handed over the task of creating its specification to the European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA) and in 1997 the ECMAScript was officially released. In fact, a standard that we call ECMA-262 contains the specification of a scripting language known as ECMAScript.

Basically, JavaScript is a scripting language and this scripting language adheres to the specifications given in the ECMAScript.

Versions of ECMAScript

Since the introduction of ECMAScript (ES), many versions of it have been released. While the first version released in 1997 and called ES1. Subsequently, ES2 was released in 1998. However, the next version, ES3 that came in 1999 has certain significant additions like advanced loops, try/catch block, and regular expressions. Significantly, the fourth edition, ES4 that came in 2003 was abondoned and never released.

Evidently, the fifth edition, ES5 was released after long time in December 2009 contains several new features. Particularly, ES5 includes JSON support, strict mode and several features of Array and String.

After that, the next edition ES6 came in 2015 and contains let and const. Afterwards, a new edition of ECMAScript appears every year and termed as ES2016, ES2017, ES2018, ES2019, and ES2020. While some new features become part of each edition.


In this article, I have discussed the Evolution of JavaScript from ES1 to ES2020. While, JavaScript first released in 1995, its standard specification, ECMAScript came in 1997. In fact, JavaScript is the implementation of the ECMAScript specification. After that several editions of ECMAScript released with ES2020 is the latest one.

Further Reading

Evolution of JavaScript from ES1 to ES2020

Introduction to HTML DOM Methods in JavaScript

JavaScript Practice Exercise

Understanding Document Object Model (DOM) in JavaScript

Understanding JSON Web Tokens

Understanding HTTP Requests and Responses

What is Asynchronous JavaScript?

JavaScript Code for Event Handling

Callback Functions in JavaScript

Arrow Functions in JavaScript

JavaScript Code Examples

Show or Hide TextBox when Selection Changed in JavaScript

Changing Style of HTML Elements using getElementsByClassName() Method

Creating Classes in JavaScript


You may also like...