ECMAScript vs JavaScript

In this tutorial, we are going to see What is the difference between JavaScript and ECMAScript?

Why keep two different names for the same technology?

I wouldn’t teach you anything if I told you that Javascript is a programming language, originally intended for the web and one of the most popular today.

But in fact, the definition above is wrong, because it is too vague. Let me explain:

  • Javascript is mainly a commercial name, a registered trademark
  • The name “Javascript” does not designate a language, but rather the implementation of a language


Created in 1995 in only 10 days by Brendan Eich for the Netscape browser, the language was first called “Mocha”, then “LiveScript” to be finally renamed “Javascript”.

The registered trademark “Java” is then held by Sun Microsystems and a commercial agreement will be signed between the two groups to allow Netscape to use the name “Javascript”.

With the emergence of browser-interpreted programming languages, the need for uniformity and standardization of technologies is becoming increasingly important.

This is why the European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA) wrote the first version of the ECMAScript 1 standard in June 1997 with the help of the ISO and the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission).

Since then, each web browser editor has been working on its own language implementations, working on new features but continuing to respect the evolutions of the standard.



To make it short, “Javascript” is the commercial name of the language implementation interpreted by the browser and owned by Oracle, while the name ECMAScript designates the global language standard, managed by ECMA International and the ISO.

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