JavaScript is a compromise between Netscape and Sun

Recently I listen a podcase related to JASON and XML, and I got to know the interesting fact that JavaScript is a compromise between Netscape and Java, and is definitely related to Java.

Full link: JSON vs XML With Douglas Crockford

Originally it(JavaScript) wasn’t supposed to be called JavaScript. It was going to be called Moca, and there was a tension between Sun and Netscape.

So Sun had been claiming that if you write to the Java virtual machine, it doesn’t matter what operating system you’re running on, and that means we can be liberated from Microsoft. And Netscape said, “If you target all of your applications to the browser, the browser can run on all of the operating systems, so you’re no longer dependent on Microsoft.”

So they decided to have an alliance, and the first thing they agreed on was that Netscape would put Java into the Netscape browser, so they did, in the form of applets. So you could write applets in Java and they would run in the Netscape browser.

The next thing Sun demanded was, you have to kill Mocha, which I think by that time had been renamed LiveScript, because you’re making this look bad. We’re telling everybody that Java is the last programming language you’ll ever need, and you have this stupid looking thing called LiveScript. Why are you doing that? This is just confusion.

So Netscape thought they could do a similar thing for their navigator browser that, if they could get people programming in the same way that they did on HyperCard, on the browser, but now they can have photographs and color and maybe sound effects, it could be a lot more interesting, and you can’t do that in Java.

But Sun was not happy about this. They said, “We thought we agreed that Java was going to be how you script the web.” And Netscape probably said, “Listen, we can’t rebuild everything to make it centered around the JVM. That’s too much work and this scripting thing, we have works and is beginner-friendly.”

And so, they were at an impasse and their alliance almost broke when someone, it might have been Marc Andreessen, it might have been a joke, suggested that they changed the name of LiveScript to JavaScript, And we’ll tell people it’s not a different language, it’s a subset of Java. It’s just this little reduced version of Java, it’s Java’s stupid little brother. It’s the same thing. It’s not a different thing. And Sun said, “Yeah, okay.” And they held a press conference and they went out and they lied to the world about what JavaScript was, and that’s why the language has this stupid confusing name.

#json #javascript