By: Nicholas C. Zakas Emailed: 1728 times Printed: 2331 times
Around 1992, a company called Nombas began developing an embedded scripting language called C-minus-minus (Cmm for short). The idea behind Cmm was simple: a scripting language powerful enough to replace macros, but still similar enough to C (and C++) that developers could learn it quickly. This scripting language was packaged in a shareware product called CEnvi, which first exposed the power of such languages to developers. Nombas eventually changed the name Cmm to ScriptEase because the latter sounded “too negative” and the letter C frightened people” (http://www.nombas.com/us/scripting/history.htm). ScriptEase is now the driving force behind Nombas products. When the popularity of Netscape Navigator started peaking, Nombas developed a version of CEnvi that could be embedded into Web pages. These early experiments were called Espresso Pages, and they represented the first client-side scripting language used on the World Wide Web. Little did Nombas know that its ideas would become an important foundation for the Internet.
As Web surfing gained popularity, a gradual demand for client-side scripting languages developed. At the time, most Internet users were connecting over a 28.8 kbps modem even though Web pages were growing in size and complexity. Adding to users’ pain was the large number of round-trips to the server required for simple form validation. Imagine filling out a form, clicking the Submit button, waiting 30 seconds for processing, and then being met with a message telling you that you forgot to complete a required field. Netscape, at that time on the cutting edge of technological innovation, began seriously considering the development of a client-side scripting language to handle simple processing.
Brendan Eich, who worked for Netscape at the time, began developing a scripting language called LiveScript for the upcoming release of Netscape Navigator 2.0 in 1995, with the intention of using it both in the browser and on the server (where it was to be called LiveWire). Netscape entered into a development alliance with Sun Microsystems to complete the implementation of LiveScript in time for release.
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