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Chapter 6. Script Content > Brief History

6.1. Brief History

The language was invented by Brendan Eich at Netscape and first appeared in that company's Navigator 2.0 browser. It has appeared in all subsequent browsers from Netscape and in all browsers from Microsoft starting with Internet Explorer 3.0. The development of the ECMA Standard started in November 1996. The first edition of the standard was adopted by the ECMA General Assembly of June 1997. The ECMA standard was subsequently submitted to ISO/IEC JTC 1 for adoption under the fast-track procedure, and approved as international standard ISO/IEC 16262, in April 1998. The ECMA General Assembly of June 1998 approved the second edition of ECMA-262 to keep it fully aligned with ISO/IEC 16262. Changes between the first and the second edition are editorial in nature.

The third edition of the standard, described in this chapter, improves on previous versions by introducing powerful regular expressions, better string handling, new control statements, try/catch exception handling, tighter definition of errors, formatting for numeric output and minor changes in anticipation of forthcoming internationalization facilities and future language growth. Nevertheless, work on the language is not complete as the technical committee is working on significant enhancements.


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