History of the JavaScript script Tag

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .
Xah Talk Show 2021-11-23 History of JavaScript Tag, Hackernews Paul Graham, How to Master Writing

in the beginning, around 1987, it is this:

<script language="JavaScript">...</script>

Then, around maybe year 2000, the standard body W3C says it should be this:

type="text/javascript"

Then, around 2006-04, the standard body W3C says it should be this:

type="application/javascript"

Then, around 2010, HTML5, the standard body, now WHATWG running the show, says it should be just:

<script>...</script>

the following is written around 2006.

In practice, you'll see type="text/javascript" instead of type="application/javascript"

The text/javascript is still ok, but has been deprecated since 2006-04.

Of existing code on the web, you will also see:

<script language="JavaScript">...</script>

or just

<script>...</script>

The language= is the original specification when Netscape invented JavaScript in 1997. Later on, standard bodies invented the type= and made it a required attribute. However, as of 2005-08, major websites do not clearly show any of them winning the popularity contest:

For all practical purposes, one can just use <script> and it doesn't make any difference. If you want your code to conform to w3c standard, use <script type="application/javascript"> . This is recommended in RFC4329 (published in 2006-04), which also declares text/javascript as obsolete.