Javascript or Ecmascript?

Posted on 26 Jan 2020
Updated on 30 Aug 2021

If you are an experienced web developer, probably you already know what is the difference or similarity between JS and ES. But for a vast majority of upcoming devs this is still confusing.

I have asked this question to several candidates while interviewing for junior and senior web developers. And surprisingly half of the time the answer was ES is the new version while JS is the older version of the language.

I can understand that this is because of the prominent amount of changes that ES6 brought with it there by popularizing the ES in ES6.


Javascript is one of the implementation of the specification termed as Ecmascript. There is a long history behind all these different names. I will try to summarize that.

ECMAScript (or ES) is a scripting-language-specification standardized by Ecma International in ECMA-262 and ISO/IEC 16262. It was created to standardize JavaScript.

So basically you have always been developing in ES since 1996. Its just that we have been calling it Javascript as that was the name given to the language. Since Javascript is a registered trademark of Sun microsystems, while drafting the standard, the committee had to use a different name. Without going creative, the organization ECMA drafted the specification as ECMAScript. But the language was still recognized as Javascript in the real world.

PS – 10th edition of the specification was published in June 2019 and is commonly known as ES10.