ECMAScript or ES (commonly referred to as JavaScript) is primarily used for scripting web-pages but also has several embedded forms as stand-alone interpreters or JIT compilers. Use this tag for questions regarding all versions of ES up to the current ES8 and its dialects / implementations: JavaScript, JScript, etc., excluding ActionScript.

JavaScript is one of the most ubiquitous programming languages on the earth. It runs on virtually every OS, and a JS engine is included in virtually every mainstream web browser. Standalone JavaScript engines or interpreters are available as well, and there are also embedding frameworks used to allow JS in additional applications.

Notable Implementations

A more complete list can be found on Wikipedia.

JavaScript is often used in the browser where it is provided with the Document Object Model, which effectively acts as a set of global variables, methods, and namespaces. Other environments provide different global elements.


ECMAScript, JavaScript & JScript

People often use the term "JavaScript" informally. The language and term originated as a creation of Netscape.

ECMAScript was developed as a standardization of Netscape's JavaScript and Microsoft's independently-developed JScript. The canonical reference is The ECMA-262 Language Specification. While JavaScript and JScript aim to be compatible with ECMAScript, they also provide additional features not described in the ECMA specifications. Other implementations of ECMAScript also exist.

Most people today who use JavaScript probably don't sweat the differences; they do not distinguish it from ECMAScript.

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