Ecma wasn’t always Ecma

Most people know that ECMAScript is the language standard behind JavaScript [1]. Fewer people know that its name comes from Ecma International, the organization managing this standard. Interestingly, that organization started as “European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA)”, but renamed itself to “Ecma International” in 1994. That was done to reflect its increasingly international focus. Ecma is now not considered an acronym, any more. Ecma International is located in Geneva. In contrast, TC39 [1], the Ecma-hosted committee evolving ECMAScript, is rather USA-centric (true to where JavaScript was created and who created it) and usually meets somewhere in California.

This little bit of history also explains why it’s spelled ECMAScript and not EcmaScript: That’s a remnant from when Ecma was still ECMA.


  1. ECMAScript: ES.next versus ES 6 versus ES Harmony