Around 1992, a company called Nombas began developing an embedded scripting language
called C-minus-minus (Cmm for short). The idea behind Cmm was simple: a scripting language
powerful enough to replace macros, but still similar enough to C (and C++) that developers could learn
it quickly. This scripting language was packaged in a shareware product called CEnvi, which first
exposed the power of such languages to developers. Nombas eventually changed the name Cmm to
ScriptEase because the latter sounded â€œtoo negativeâ€ and the letter C â€œfrightened peopleâ€ (http://
). ScriptEase is now the driving force behind Nombas
products. When the popularity of Netscape Navigator started peaking, Nombas developed a version of
CEnvi that could be embedded into Web pages. These early experiments were called Espresso Pages, and
they represented the first client-side scripting language used on the World Wide Web. Little did Nombas
know that its ideas would become an important foundation for the Internet.
As Web surfing gained popularity, a gradual demand for client-side scripting languages developed. At
the time, most Internet users were connecting over a 28.8 kbps modem even though Web pages were
growing in size and complexity. Adding to usersâ€™ pain was the large number of round-trips to the server
required for simple form validation. Imagine filling out a form, clicking the Submit button, waiting 30
seconds for processing, and then being met with a message telling you that you forgot to complete a
required field. Netscape, at that time on the cutting edge of technological innovation, began seriously
considering the development of a client-side scripting language to handle simple processing.
that had previously been left to server-side languages such as Perl. Prior to that time, a round
trip to the server was needed to determine if a required field had been left blank or an entered
The capability to handle some basic validation on the client was an exciting new feature at a time
when use of telephone modems (operating at 28.8 kbps) was widespread. Such slow speeds
turned every trip to the server into an exercise in patience.