Javascript – Scripting in Java, not!

Throughout my 2.5 odd years in the IT industry, not once, not twice, but many many times did I have to go through the routine of explaining to people what Javascript is, and how it’s not, in any way related to Java!

When I joined my first company, I was asked my work preference, and I sprung into action requesting for any developer role with any Javascript framework. When I got the call, a senior manager on the other side says, “Congratulations! Kapeel, You’ve got what you wanted, there is this awesome opportunity for a Java developer role in xyz project.”

When I was working for another operating systems project, a manager calls me in his cubicle, and asks,You know Java, Right?”. I said yes. and his next question says, “We have some work to be done. It’s some scripting in Java. Would you be able to do?” (There was a Javascript requirement)


Now that I have finally got a chance to work with one of my dream project which is based on React JS(Javascript) – Redux framework, I want to make a few things clear for everybody once and for all.

To quote from Wikipedia:

  Java is a general-purpose computer programming language that is concurrent, class-based, object-oriented,[14]and specifically designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible. It is intended to let application developers “write once, run anywhere” (WORA).

To state in a layman’s terms, Java is the language of applications. To put things into context, a majority of the applications currently in your phone would have been developed using Java. It is a strongly typed language which is quite serious about its syntax which is similar to oldies like C and C++. It’s like that old grandpa to whom you go with your generic life problems to get a solution with his experience, who once upon a time was inevitable to the world, and hence has a major experience, legacy, and fan following.

Javascript, on the other hand:

JavaScript (/ˈɑːvəˌskrɪpt/[6]) is a high-level, dynamic, untyped, and interpreted programming language.[7] It has been standardized in the ECMAScript language specification.[8] Alongside HTML and CSS, JavaScript is one of the three core technologies of World Wide Web content production.

Which means Javascript is mainly the language of the web. All the browsers have the capability to understand Javascript code. So, you are able to read this article because of all the Javascript magic going on behind the scenes! Javascript is like that kid in his twenties who plays the guitar, heads a startup, has six-pack abs, and treks the Himalayas regularly. You look up to him, you want to be like him.

So both of them are different, worlds apart. And no, if you study one, you will not be able to code in the other ( another thing I was asked by a colleague) and yes, Even though Java was already present, there was a need for Javascript! (one more doubt that I was asked).

Still, I wouldn’t blame all those people for their innocent confusion, why did the creators of Javascript have to name it like that? Why couldn’t they just call it ECMA script instead? Maybe they wanted to watch the world burn like this 😛 But now that you know, let’s spread the word and let’s enlighten our fellow beings. Let’s make the world a better place 😛 (Silicon Valley TV series reference).

3 thoughts on “Javascript – Scripting in Java, not!

  1. the confusion is entirely the fault of brendan eich, who decided on a confusing name to ride on javas success.

    by comparison, i was unaware of fig forth and dockers fig (now mostly replaced with docker compose) and in any case, the original name was not “fig” but “fig basic.” someone wanted me to drop the basic part, and i agreed sufficiently with their argument. im pretty certain the choice of javascript against java was intended.


  2. Good read. JavaScript was named so because Java is limited to server side scope of applications. JavaScript on the other hand handles the client side manipulation of data and was initially used as a way to enhance Client side interactivity as a complement to Java server side technology. Even though Java is the lifeline of several applications, the immense bootstrapping capabilities of JavaScript has motivated programmers to use JavaScript on the server side as well (see NodeJS).


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