I made a small research about the history before JavaScript was available to use, but I couldn't find much. I only found several plugins that was used, such as Adobe Flash, ActiveX.

So, what I want is to talk about why those are replaced with JS. Is that because of slow data-parsing, security issues?

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    $\begingroup$ Early general purpose scripting languages include Tcl if 1988 and Lua of 1993. $\endgroup$ – Nick Feb 28 '19 at 17:34
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    $\begingroup$ Please be specific as to the domain of the technology. Do you mean scripting for a web page, or any way to get something dynamic in a web page, or something else? $\endgroup$ – Rory Daulton Mar 1 '19 at 0:19
  • $\begingroup$ Well @Rory Daulton. I know that is a powerful and asynchronous language, and benefit in both client-side and server-side applications. To answer your question - In any aspect. What we replaced with JS? Why JS is better from other older technologies? $\endgroup$ – Loizos Vasileiou Mar 1 '19 at 11:41
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    $\begingroup$ JavaScript is not a technology: it's a software language, derived from similiar languages, and is one of .. I dunno, a couple thousand languages in current use? $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Mar 1 '19 at 13:05
  • $\begingroup$ @CarlWitthoft It is not very clear, what is a "technology". My experience is that it is used like a pronoun. :-) All languages, frameworks, development environments are named "technology". $\endgroup$ – peterh Mar 3 '19 at 1:18

Javascript is older than Flash and ActiveX.

Originally, it was developed by the Sun, as the "small cousine" of the Java.

The "World Wide Web" was originally developed only for static content without client-side dynamical behaviors, and with only zero to little server-side dynamical content.

Javascript became capable to replace Flash & ActiveX only with HTML5 in the early 2010s. Its main reason was that all client-side web programming technologies were closed or in the hands of a single company, Javascript was the only "least common denominator" between the major browser developers.

Thus, initially - roughly at the early nineties - the Javascript didn't replace anything, it was new.

There were still some possibilities for dynamical content, mainly by server-side support, but its possibilities were very weak. For example, images could dynamically created and re-used by sending refreshing http headers with images, and then refer them in <img src=... tags.

The most common technology before the WWW was gopher, which supported only static content, too. At this time, non-graphical user environments were more common, they were remotely used by telnet, or more early, by serial terminals.


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