Brendan Eich Talks About JavaScript & More
Written by Sue Gee   
Monday, 05 April 2021

In a recent Lex Fridman podcast, Brendan Eich, the creator 25 years ago of JavaScript and currently of the Brave browser, provided his views on early programming languages, outlined how JavaScript came to be, problems faced by Firefox and explains how his new browser  takes a different approach.

In a series of YouTube videos that originated as The Artificial Intelligence Podcast, Lex Fridman, an AI researcher at MIT conducts in-depth interviews with guests 



We've already covered his conversations with James Gosling, the creator of the Java Language, Brian Kernighan talking about Unix, C, Go and more and, an interview early in the series in which Donald Knuth talks about AI topics, Algorithms and Complexity. 

Despite the fact that many of our readers may already have watched it, I make no apologies for covering this interview with Brendan Eich. If you haven't already found it, it makes for fascinating listening.


This interview lasts three hours. It is so good that you might well want to settle down and listen to it in a single sitting. Although its on You Tube, there's not much to see - Eich sits on one side of a desk and Fridman on the other - so you can treat it as an audio podcast. However to  help you follow the thread - and to let find sections of interest, Fridman has, as usual, provided a list of bookmarks:

1:53 - History of early programming languages

6:46 - Physics needs more experiments and less theory

11:23 - JavaScript origin story

36:16 - JavaScript was created in 10 days

45:56 - Marc Andreessen

49:13 - Internet Explorer

52:57 - Evolution of JavaScript

58:43 - Javascript standardization

1:04:33 - TypeScript

1:07:04 - JavaScript ecosystem

1:10:14 - HTML5

1:13:46 - Making JavaScript fast

1:22:56 - JavaScript is the most popular language in the world

1:33:22 - Advice for programmers

1:39:19 - Browser wars

1:45:49 - Firefox

2:07:32 - Brave

2:20:32 - Basic Attention Token

2:45:35 - California

2:54:47 - Mortality

2:55:53 - Legacy

As you might expect JavaScript is the key topic for the first half of the conversation but then Eich moves on to his current concern - creating an alternative browser called Brave. As a web publisher I found the section labelled Basic Attention Token which discusses monetizing websites and the future of ad-tech particularly interesting. 

There are lots of very positive comments about this interview and here are three examples:

For me, as complete beginner who's just beginning to learn about programming at the basic foundations level. This is one of the most interesting conversations I've ever seen on any platform. Best podcast to date imo.

Generally I enjoy all conversations Lex has but this episode in particular is something different filled with inspiration and determination I would recommend it to everyone that works with technology.

I think this has been my favourite interview so far. Very refreshing to hear someone from Silicon Valley have an informed understanding of the true roots of America. This has me very interested in contributing to Brave.



More Information

Lex Fridman Podcast

Related Articles

Lex Fridman Talks to Gosling, Kernighan and Knuth

JavaScript Turns 25

Brave Browser Reaches Version 1.0

Brendan Eich Launches Brave New Browser 

Brendan Eich Leaves Mozilla 

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