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JavaScript - JScript - ECMAScript version history
History and Timeline of js by browser version

 10:00 pm on Mar 12, 2002 (gmt 0)

I recently pulled together a bunch of information about JavaScript support for personal use, and thought it might be a handy reference for others. To start with, it might be good to talk about names. Mucho confusion here.

Netscape originally called their creation LiveScript. They had a tight partnership with Sun at the time, who had just generated a lot of marketing buzz around Java. Netscape piggy-backed on the buzz by changing the name to JavaScript. However JavaScript is not Java, not at all. But the naming confusion carries on to this very day!

Microsoft created their own version of the scripting language, which they call JScript. They made it "roughly" the same so that basic features would be supported cross-browser.

ECMA is the European Computer Manfacturers Association. Netscape offered JavaScript to the ECMA for standardization in 1996. Netscape and Microsoft then both agreed to support the standards ECMA developed.

With that bit of complication handled,
here's the timeline I researched.

JavaScript 1.0
Netscape 2.0
Mar 1996

JavaScript 1.1
Netscape 3.0
Aug 1996

JavaScript 1.2
Netscape 4.0
Jun 1997

JavaScript 1.3
Netscape 4.5
Oct 1998

JavaScript 1.4
Netscape Server Only
No Client Side release

Javascript 1.5
Netscape 6.0
Nov 2000

JScript 1.0
IE 3.0 - early versions
Approx. JavaScript 1.0
Aug 1996

JScript 2.0
IE 3.0 - later versions
Approx. JavaScript 1.1
Jan 1997

JScript 3.0
IE 4.0
Approx. JavaScript 1.3
Oct 1997

Jscript 4.0
No Browser Products

JScript 5.0
IE 5.0
partly compliant with ECMAScript v3
Mar 1999

JScript 5.5
IE 5.5
Approx. JavaScript 1.5
Jul 2000

JScript 5.6
IE 6.0
Approx. JavaScript 1.5
Oct 2001

ECMAScript v1
More precisely ECMA-262
Approx. JavaScript 1.3 or JScript 3.0
June 1998

ECMAScript v2
Released for maintenance purposes only

ECMAScript v3
Approx. JavaScript 1.5 or Jscript 5.5
Dec 1999


1. ECMA v4 Proposal [mozilla.org]
projected for this year (2002)

2. Netscape's Javascript Info [developer.netscape.com]

3. Microsoft's JScript Info [msdn.microsoft.com]



 9:32 am on Mar 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

Thanks Tedster - whilst I'll probably continue to get my nomenclature wrong, at least I'll know where to come to check.

For interest, Flash's ActionScript also follows ECMAScript's standards.


 3:49 pm on Mar 13, 2002 (gmt 0)

What I'd like to find is a nice neat table of changes from version to version. It would be handy to have a reference for backward compatibility.

Anyone seen anything like that?

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