Sunday, January 23, 2011

15 Years of WebApps in JavaScript

15 years ago on January 23, 1996, HTMLjive - an HTML editor written in JavaScript was release. It is considered the first serious JavaScript program. In short order, it went viral, was on websites around the world and translated into several languages.

HTMLjive was a simple HTML editor but it incorporated a preview window, three modes of HTML coding and on-screen help. The inline HTML editors, like the one I'm using right now to write this blog, have added features, but HTMLjive had the basic features you take for granted today.

I am often asked, "Did you expected JavaScript application (web apps) to become popular?" Yes. Shortly after HTMLjive was released, I starting writing the book "Using JavaScript" with several co-authors. One of my great memories is giving an author talk called "JavaScript Makes Your Site An Application" at a local book store a few months later. So, absolutely.

The community that supports JavaScript has come a long way since. Brendan Eich, father of JavaScript, has received the recognition he deserves. Douglas Crockford gave us JSON and is the JavaScript evangelist. Ajax pushed the language back into popularity and Google showed what could be done with Google Maps and Gmail. Now the annual JSconf features the greatest advances, technologies and speakers. Most of the people that deserve a mention for their contributions to the community were or are speakers at JSconfs.

JavaScript is no longer just for the browser. My web apps, both mobile and desktop, have JavaScript on both the browser with libraries like jquery and on the server with couchdb and node.js. Thank you to the community. It continues to be a joy to code in JS because of you.

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