In 1995, msn.com looked like this:
In 1996, Google search looked like this:
In 1997, apple.com looked like this:
(Ok, front-end developers, rejoice! You should feel giddy how great your website(s) look(s) now compared to the Google/MSN/Apple sites then).
However laughably inelegant and rudimentary the earliest websites are, they have a whole army of unsung and sung heroes to thank for. Of them, Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web; Marc Anderseen, the co-creator of Mosaic and co-author of Netscape and many more.
The rest is history.
The Search for History
I have a bit of history training in me; I try to string together the beginning, development, milestones of everything.
Still …, it does not hurt to try?
In 1995, girls are trying to have Jennifer Aniston’s hair and secretly pine for Brad Pitt; Larry Page and Sergey Brin meet at Stanford. Larry, 22, a U Michigan grad, is considering the school; Sergey, 21, is assigned to show him around;
Mark Zuckerberg is only 11!
Along Came JScript
In 1995, Windows 95 is the hottest (in sales) and coolest (in coolness factor) product on earth.
In 1995, Bill Gates sent the "Internet Tidal Wave" memorandum to Microsoft executives, which steered Microsoft towards web.
The First Browser War and ECMA Script
Hence, there is the first open browser war between Internet Explorer and the long-demised Netscape.
A little fun story I found on Wiki.
In October 1997, Internet Explorer 4.0 was released. The release party in San Francisco featured a ten-foot-tall letter "e" logo. Netscape employees showing up to work the following morning found the giant logo on their front lawn, with a sign attached that read "From the IE team ... We Love You". The Netscape employees promptly knocked it over and set a giant figure of their Mozilla dinosaur mascot atop it, holding a sign reading "Netscape 72, Microsoft 18" representing the market distribution.
Internet Explorer 4 changed the tides of the browser wars. It was integrated into Microsoft Windows, which gave it a large installation base.
If you search the web as of today, the word ECMA 6 will be sculpted to your brain.
Ajax: The XML http Thing
The term "Ajax" was publicly stated on 18 February 2005 by Jesse James Garrett in an article titled "Ajax: A New Approach to Web Applications", based on techniques used on Google pages.
On 5 April 2006, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) released the first draft specification for the XMLHttpRequest object in an attempt to create an official Web standard.
John Resig and jQuery
I cannot find any story about how jQuery is created, or any jokes John cracked. I know he loves Japanese wood work, works for Khan Academy and has a million admirers. I went through his blog, found this charmingly low-key announcement of jQuery blog in January, 2006.
Before, after and around the time jQuery was released, there had been many libraries, each touting their own incomparable qualities. The most prominent ones are Mootools, Prototype, YUI library, Dojo, Ext js. In the meantime, web applications keep snowballing.