Why do Java and JavaScript have similar names?

Tram Ho

Although the names of Java and JavaScript seem to be related (JavaScript seems to be a script in Java?), But that’s the only similarity. These two languages ​​are not technically related to each other.

The similarity in name is intentional. Java, created in 1990 by James A. Gosling, a computer scientist at Sun Microsystems, was very popular at the time Netscape named its programming language JavaScript in late 1995.

Relying on Java’s reputation is a smart business move. As one Quora user hypothesized, Netscape wanted people to think that JavaScript was related to Java and they succeeded.

Java was created in 1990 by James A. Gosling
Java was created in 1990 by James A. Gosling

That explanation is a bit compelling and not entirely accurate. The fact that JavaScript, designed by Netscape’s Brendan Eich, was originally called LiveScript, but a marketing agreement (or maybe a fun trick) between Netscape and Sun led Netscape to change its name to JavaScript, For the purpose of brand cooperation. At the time, Sun agreed to let Netscape pack the top browser with the Java runtime. The name change is part of the agreement.

JavaScript, designed by Brendan Eich of Netscape, was originally called LiveScript
JavaScript, designed by Brendan Eich of Netscape, was originally called LiveScript

Since then, Java’s popularity may have faded, but JavaScript hasn’t. You can say that JavaScript is today thanks to the popularity of Java. But maybe not everyone agrees with this view. It is important to emphasize that beyond the naming convention, the two languages ​​do not have much in common.

What are the differences between Java and JavaScript?

Here is a quick comparison of the similarities and differences between Java and JavaScript:


  • Java is a static, object-oriented programming language that works on multiple platforms. JavaScript is a dynamic programming language (or scripted language) used to make websites and applications come alive.
  • Java is based on class, and JavaScript is dynamic.
  • Java is an independent language. JavaScript is more dependent, meaning it works with HTML and CSS on web pages to create dynamic content.
  • In 2019, JavaScript is a must-learn for web developers, as it is used quite a lot everywhere, while Java is considered the previous generation programming language (however, certainly very Many websites still use it).


As mentioned above, there are not many similarities between Java and JavaScript. Can point out some similarities in both programming languages ​​as follows:

  • Both Java and JavaScript are most often used in client-side applications
  • Both Java and JavaScript use C syntax
  • JavaScript copies some of Java’s naming conventions.

Should you learn Java or JavaScript?

Again, this is like comparing apples and oranges. But if forced to, choose JavaScript.

Should you learn Java or JavaScript?
Should you learn Java or JavaScript?

According to GitHub, as of 2018, JavaScript has been used to create more repositories than any other language. GitHub also reports that JavaScript and Python are becoming more and more popular year by year, especially compared to other languages ​​like Ruby.

Do not get me wrong! Java is still widely used and very popular, along with countless reasons why you should learn Java. But JavaScript is an ideal starting point for beginners who are interested in learning to program, especially those who love front-end or full stack web development. Really, understanding JavaScript is a skill flexible enough to apply to a variety of technology-related roles.

It is very difficult to choose between these two languages. So, if you are really unsure, try to consider the ultimate goal and consider the pros and cons of each language.

Wish you have a suitable choice!

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Source : Techtalk