Standardization by ECMA International
A version of ECMA Script was released each of the following years until the year 2000. While version 4 was being worked on, Microsoft had staunchly refused to adopt the specification into JScript. As time progressed into 2007, multiple new players in the market, such as Adobe and Yahoo!, and the divergence of Microsoft as the browser industry leader at this point, caused ECMA Script version 4 to be scrapped due to unresolvable conflict and the ECMA being unable to agree on the specification.
The Confusion Begins
After ES6 was released, the ECMA decided that it was better to refer to it as ES2015, after the year it was released. This further caused confusion among amateur web developers since ES5 matches the last digit of the year ES6 was released. To further add to the confusion, ES7 was released in 2016, so it is referred to as ES2016 as well. Each following year, ECMA Script has advanced a version, with the latest (ES10 or ES2019) being published just two months ago.
So, to break it down, here are the versions of ECMA Script, and their acronyms:
|Version||Name 1||Name 2|
Applying This Knowledge
So, there you have it, a very brief history of ECMA Script. But now what? What does this knowledge empower you to do? Knowing what these mean can allow you to more effectively choose technologies and make development decisions to target the specification the browsers your user base requires you to support; maybe because your user base is still operating in IE 8 due to some antiquated hardware means you need to write a polyfill for that specific ES6 function you want to use, or maybe you need to use these acronyms to transpile your react site to be compatible with ES5 so it can be ran on a custom web browser.