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How Did JavaScript Become So Famous & Why Is It Important?

JavaScript, a powerful and flexible language used for web and app development, is undoubtedly one of the most popular programming languages out there. Combined with CSS and HTML, it allows us to develop, use, and view the internet as it is today. JavaScript being part of the mix increases interactivity.

However, judging from the history of JavaScript, no one would’ve guessed it would become as popular as it is today. In fact, it was created within a short two weeks with no anticipation of worldwide usage and fame. 

JavaScript security and interactivity are the two most important things that make this language what it is today!

The Test of Time: JavaScript’s History

One thing that all programming languages struggle with is the test of time. Many languages become outdated, or their applications stop being relevant as time progresses. As you may be able to guess, that didn’t happen with JavaScript. Quite contrarily, it boomed in popularity and usage as time went on.

All the way back in the early 1990s, people started gravitating towards the internet in mass amounts. So much so that it initiated a “war” between tech companies over who could build the perfect web browser. Microsoft with their Internet Explorer went head to head with Netscape’s browser known as Netscape Navigator

To catch up with the competition, Brendan Eich, a Netscape mastermind, wanted to build a lighter script for faster coding. And so he did, and when it was completed in 10 days, he called it Mocha. This was the birth of JavaScript as we know it today. 

The irony is that JavaScript was never meant to be the benchmark web technology that it is today. From that point on, JavaScript grew in popularity ever so quickly. Now, it’s a crucial part of all web browsers. Additionally, it has been the most used programming language for the last six consistent years!

How Did JavaScript Become So Popular?

Now, you may be wondering, how did a programming language written under 10 days become the worldwide standard for web and app development? Well, the short answer is that it’s very convenient. The main functionality it offered that set it apart from the rest was its ability to turn internet browsers into app platforms. 

Here are some reasons why JavaScript is so popular.

Whether you’re developing the front-end or back-end of a website, JavaScript can serve as the go-to language in both cases.

JavaScript is updated regularly, meaning more features and versions are released frequently. This allows for more adaptability to changing user needs.

JavaScript uses DOM, or the Document Object Model to conveniently handle web pages. Since DOM lets the user modify the structure, content, and style of a website, they can use JavaScript for interactivity and convenience.

The latest browsers are in a race to process and load JavaScript as fast as possible. Why? Because JavaScript enhances user interactivity through features like object movement and scroll transition. Google Chrome is winning the fastest user experience race so far.

External resources, libraries, and modules can not only extend a website’s functionality but also streamline the developer’s workflow. JavaScript allows access to many libraries and huge frameworks, which makes it easier for developers to create complicated applications without worrying about additional overhead. Hence, augmented functionality is a key reason for JavaScript’s popularity as well.

JavaScript’s rise to fame is certainly warranted and truly deserved. It has such extensive functionality that no other programming language can even come close to competing. 

Why Is JavaScript So Important?

No modern web/app developer can go too far without using JavaScript. Let’s look at what’s about this programming language that makes it so pertinent to the internet.

1) Client-Side Scripting

The original purpose behind JavaScript was to create a client-side scripting tool. Even to this day, numerous developers use it for this reason. The seamless integration with HTML and customization options are two key features of JavaScript.

This allows the developers to make their web pages user-interactive fast. Furthermore, a JavaScript client-side can be customized to have exciting interfaces. Server load is also reduced.

2) Cross-Platform Server-Side Programming

There are several cross-platform runtime environments such as Node.js that allow JavaScript devs to write server-side programs. Additionally, the libraries offered by these runtime engines enhance efficiency and make the website less reliant on external resources. 

3) Simpler & Efficient Coding

One of the fundamental maxims of programming is that the shorter and simpler the code, the better the application. JavaScript simplifies not only the code but also the process of writing code. Making complicated web apps is made earlier through JavaScript and its extensive functionality.

JavaScript developers can use native libraries and make shadow DOM boundaries. This lets them break down huge programs into simple, decoupled modules of code.

4) The MEAN Stack

The MEAN stack is an open-source, free, software stack useful for developing JavaScript applications. MEAN consists of 4 components, namely MongoDB, Express.js, Angular.js, and finally, Node.js. 

Angular.js is a convenient JS framework provided by Google. MongoDB is a NoSQL database program built for documents. Express.js is crucial for simplifying single/multiple web pages. Lastly, as mentioned earlier, Node.js is a server-side runtime engine.

5) Continuous Evolution - Regular Updates

While JavaScript may fall short in some regards such as multithreading when compared to some other programming languages. However, JavaScript is continuously evolving to meet the needs of the future.

If you’re not convinced just yet, try the newest JavaScript release - ECMAScript 6. It brings forth many new modules, classes, module loaders, Unicode compatibility, reflect API, symbols, generators, and much more.

To Sum Up

JavaScript without a doubt is the most popular programming language in the tech world. However, there are good reasons behind its popularity. What started from a client-side scripting tool became the world’s biggest web development language. 

Moreover, there are many valid explanations for its importance in the industry - continuous evolution, the MEAN stack, increased interactivity, front and back end development, to name just a few.

By Anil Singh | Rating of this article (*****)

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