Will the future be written entirely in JavaScript?

No popular language may be as maligned as JavaScript. But its migration to the server side opens the possibility it may become all-pervasive

By Andrew C. Oliver, InfoWorld |  Software, insider, JavaScript

In 1995, when Netscape was looking for a new brand for its browser-embedded scripting language, the company licensed a variation of the "Java" name from Sun Microsystems. JavaScript was born, creating a mistaken impression (that of JavaScript and Java's close relation) you'll still see some newbs trip over to this day. That shared branding deal would never happen now; the executives at Oracle never watched "Sesame Street" as kids, so they don't share.

As time wore on, Java in the browser withered, and if Google hadn't rescued client-side Java with Android, it would be dead on mobile devices, too. JavaME has always been equal parts technical disaster, marketing faux pas, and dubious value proposition: You want me to pay what to embed that? Meanwhile, JavaScript, despite Microsoft's best efforts to make an incompatible mess out of it, has become the cross-platform language of choice for application developers and platform developers alike.

[ How much do you know about this stalwart developer tool? Find out in InfoWorld's JavaScript IQ test. | Learn how to work smarter, not harder with InfoWorld's roundup of all the tips and trends programmers need to know in the Developers' Survival Guide. Download the PDF today! | Keep up with the latest developer news with InfoWorld's Developer World newsletter. ]

JavaScript invades the serverOriginally a client-side language, JavaScript made quick inroads on the server side. Microsoft offered its JScript fork as an option in Active Server Pages in 1996. In the early part of the last decade, I worked on an Apache project called Cocoon, which was based on XML transformation pipelines. Stefano Mazzocchi, the project's lead and an early mentor of mine, pushed to embed JavaScript into Cocoon as a sort of control language. I thought he was flat-out nuts, but in the end it turned out to be a better idea than developing dynamic websites based on XML pipelines.

Originally published on InfoWorld |  Click here to read the original story.
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