WTF is ECMAScript?
Here’s what happened long, long ago:
- This results in a new language standard, known as ECMAScript.
Okay, so ‘ES’…?
ES is simply short for ECMAScript. Every time you see ES followed by a number, it is referencing an edition of ECMAScript. In fact, there are eight editions of ECMAScript published. Lets dive into them:
ES1, ES2, ES3, ES4
ES1: June 1997 — ES2: June 1998 — ES3: Dec. 1999 — ES4: Abandoned
I’ve grouped all of these together. These were the first 4 editions of ECMAScript, and to save time, we wont go too in-depth. Just know that the first three editions were annual, and the fourth was abandoned due to political differences.
December 2009: Nearly 10 years later, ES5 was released in 2009. It would then take almost six years for the next version of ECMAScript to be released.
ES6 / ES2015
June 2015: Perhaps the cause for all of your confusion begins here. You see, ES6 and ES2015 are the same thing.
ES6 was the popularized name prior to release. However, the committee that oversees ECMAScript specifications made the decision to move to annual updates. With this change, the edition was renamed to ES 2015 to reflect the year of release. Subsequent releases will therefor also be named according to the year they are released.
June 2016: Seventh edition of ECMAScript.
June 2017: Eighth edition of ECMAScript.
You may have also seen ES.Next used online. This term is dynamic and references the next version of ECMAScript coming out.
Each release brings updates and new features to the language.
- An update to ECMAscript can be expected annually.
- Initial Editions of ECMAScript are named numerically, increasing by 1: ES1, ES2, ES3, ES4, ES5
- New editions (starting with 2015) will be named ES followed by the year of release: ES2015, ES2016, ES2017
Hopefully the next time you see ES in the wild you’ll better understand what it’s referencing!