A history of JavaScript (I)

A step-by-step review of the main JavaScript-based frameworks and how they have influenced the way we build web applications.

Gerardo Fernández

--

Photo by Matt Duncan on Unsplash

It is said soon, but they have been immersed in web development for more than 14 years. This means that I have been able to experience first-hand the evolution it has undergone; from the days when we defined the structure with tables (yes, table tags as you hear it) to the appearance of frameworks that allow us to do things that were unthinkable a few years ago.

Along the way I have also experienced intense debates. Where should the CSS go? And the state? Angular, React or Vue? And, of course, the vertigo of feeling that for a few years it has been impossible to keep up to date 100%.

I remember that one of my serious projects was developed with Drupal (PHP). Those were the days of the great monoliths, in which the server was in charge of processing the request and generating the corresponding HTML with all the necessary CSS and JS.

Techniques like the ones Tuenti used to allow browsing without reloading the page seemed like magic; Common mortals were content to use AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript And XML) calls to send forms and filter lists.

And then AngularJS came along. And everything changed. At least for me.

Today I want to review with you the process of change that has led us here. None of us think we can guess the future of web development, but learning about the past may help us become aware of the changes that have driven the big leaps.

JavaScript. the beginnings

JavaScript was released in 1995 with the goal of providing a language that would allow complex interactions with the browser to be defined.

In its first years, JavaScript had to face the different implementations that browsers made of this language, as well as the limitations it presented when working with HTML elements.

However, two changes brought it back to popularity and community interest:

  • The standardization of the DOM and its adoption by the European Computer Manufacturers’ Association (ECMA).

--

--

Gerardo Fernández

Entre paseo y paseo con Simba desarrollo en Symfony y React