The Differences Between ECMAScript and JavaScript

Are you confused about the difference between ECMAScript and JavaScript? Don't worry, you're not alone. While they may seem like two different languages, they are actually different versions of the same language. In this article, we'll explore what exactly are the differences between ECMAScript and JavaScript, and why you should care.

What Is ECMAScript?

ECMAScript is the formal name for the popular programming language, JavaScript. It is a standardized language that is used to create interactive and dynamic web pages. The standard is maintained by the Ecma International organization and is updated regularly to keep up with the latest trends and technologies. The most recent version at the time of writing is ECMAScript 2021.

What Is JavaScript?

JavaScript is a high-level, interpreted programming language that is used to create interactive web pages. It was created by Brendan Eich in 1995 and quickly became one of the most popular languages on the web. It is the most commonly used language for client-side scripting and can also be used on the server-side with Node.js.

How Are They Different?

Simply put, ECMAScript is the language specification, while JavaScript is the most popular implementation of that specification. JavaScript is the most well-known implementation of ECMAScript, but it's not the only one. Other implementations include JScript (used by Microsoft's Internet Explorer) and ActionScript (used by Adobe Flash).

One key difference between ECMAScript and JavaScript is their syntax. ECMAScript has a more formal structure and adheres strictly to the syntax and grammar defined by the standard. JavaScript, on the other hand, is a more relaxed implementation of the standard and allows for more flexibility in syntax.

Another difference is that ECMAScript defines core functionality and programming interfaces, while JavaScript includes additional features and libraries that are not defined by the standard. These additional features and libraries are commonly referred to as "browser APIs" and include things like the Document Object Model (DOM) and the XMLHttpRequest (XHR) object.

Why Should You Care?

Understanding the differences between ECMAScript and JavaScript is important for several reasons. Firstly, as a developer, it's important to know which version of the language you're working with. Different browsers and platforms support different versions of the standard, so understanding the differences between versions can help you write code that is compatible across multiple platforms.

Secondly, understanding the standard can help you write better, more efficient code. By adhering to the strict syntax and programming interfaces defined by ECMAScript, you can ensure that your code is optimized and free of errors.

Finally, understanding the differences between ECMAScript and JavaScript can make you a better developer. By understanding the underlying principles of the language, you can become more proficient at problem-solving and debugging, and create more robust and scalable applications.


In conclusion, ECMAScript and JavaScript are two different versions of the same language. While they share many similarities, they also have differences in syntax, functionality, and implementation. Understanding these differences is important for developers looking to create robust and scalable web applications that work across multiple platforms. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced developer, taking the time to learn about ECMAScript and JavaScript will make you a better programmer and help you stay ahead of the curve. So, what are you waiting for? Start exploring ECMAScript and JavaScript today!

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