What is Babel?

Babel will turn your ES6+ code into ES5 friendly code, so you can start using it right now without waiting for browser support.
Babel is a tool in the JavaScript Compilers category of a tech stack.
Babel is an open source tool with 33.5K GitHub stars and 3.6K GitHub forks. Here’s a link to Babel's open source repository on GitHub

Who uses Babel?

Companies
885 companies use Babel in their tech stacks, including Instagram, 9GAG, and SendGrid.

Developers
657 developers use Babel.

Babel Integrations

gulp, Grunt, RequireJS, Jetpack, and Browserify are some of the popular tools that integrate with Babel. Here's a list of all 11 tools that integrate with Babel.

Why developers like Babel?

Here’s a list of reasons why companies and developers use Babel
Babel Reviews

Here are some stack decisions, common use cases and reviews by companies and developers who chose Babel in their tech stack.

Nick Parsons
Nick Parsons
DeveloperEvangelist at Stream · | 29 upvotes · 41K views
atStream
Go
Stream
Python
Yarn
Babel
Node.js
ES6
JavaScript
#Languages
#FrameworksFullStack

Winds 2.0 is an open source Podcast/RSS reader developed by Stream with a core goal to enable a wide range of developers to contribute.

We chose JavaScript because nearly every developer knows or can, at the very least, read JavaScript. With ES6 and Node.js v10.x.x, it’s become a very capable language. Async/Await is powerful and easy to use (Async/Await vs Promises). Babel allows us to experiment with next-generation JavaScript (features that are not in the official JavaScript spec yet). Yarn allows us to consistently install packages quickly (and is filled with tons of new tricks)

We’re using JavaScript for everything – both front and backend. Most of our team is experienced with Go and Python, so Node was not an obvious choice for this app.

Sure... there will be haters who refuse to acknowledge that there is anything remotely positive about JavaScript (there are even rants on Hacker News about Node.js); however, without writing completely in JavaScript, we would not have seen the results we did.

#FrameworksFullStack #Languages

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Vishal Narkhede
Vishal Narkhede
Javascript Developer at getStream.io · | 19 upvotes · 7K views
atStream
Babel
styled-components
Expo
JavaScript
Chat by Stream
React Native
Stream

Recently, the team at Stream published a React Native SDK for our new Chat by Stream product. React Native brings the power of JavaScript to the world of mobile development, making it easy to develop apps for multiple platforms. We decided to publish two different endpoints for the SDK – Expo and React Native (non-expo), to avoid the hurdle and setup of using the Expo library in React Native only projects on the consumer side.

The capability of style customization is one a large deal breaker for frontend SDKs. To solve this, we decided to use styled-components in our SDK, which makes it easy to add support for themes on top of our existing components. This practice reduces the maintenance effort for stylings of custom components and keeps the overall codebase clean.

For module bundling, we decided to go with Rollup.js instead of Webpack due to its simplicity and performance in the area of library/module providers. We are using Babel for transpiling code, enabling our team to use JavaScript's next-generation features. Additionally, we are using the React Styleguidist component documentation, which makes documenting the React Native code a breeze.

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Johnny Bell
Johnny Bell
Sr. Software Engineer at StackShare · | 17 upvotes · 22.1K views
ESLint
Prettier
Babel
npm
Yarn
Node.js
Webpack
#ES5
#ES6

So when starting a new project you generally have your go to tools to get your site up and running locally, and some scripts to build out a production version of your site. Create React App is great for that, however for my projects I feel as though there is to much bloat in Create React App and if I use it, then I'm tied to React, which I love but if I want to switch it up to Vue or something I want that flexibility.

So to start everything up and running I clone my personal Webpack boilerplate - This is still in Webpack 3, and does need some updating but gets the job done for now. So given the name of the repo you may have guessed that yes I am using Webpack as my bundler I use Webpack because it is so powerful, and even though it has a steep learning curve once you get it, its amazing.

The next thing I do is make sure my machine has Node.js configured and the right version installed then run Yarn. I decided to use Yarn because when I was building out this project npm had some shortcomings such as no .lock file. I could probably move from Yarn to npm but I don't really see any point really.

I use Babel to transpile all of my #ES6 to #ES5 so the browser can read it, I love Babel and to be honest haven't looked up any other transpilers because Babel is amazing.

Finally when developing I have Prettier setup to make sure all my code is clean and uniform across all my JS files, and ESLint to make sure I catch any errors or code that could be optimized.

I'm really happy with this stack for my local env setup, and I'll probably stick with it for a while.

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Jonathan Pugh
Jonathan Pugh
Software Engineer / Project Manager / Technical Architect · | 15 upvotes · 39.4K views
Font Awesome
CSS 3
Apache Cordova
PhoneGap
HTML5
Ruby
Babel
Webpack
Visual Studio Code
GraphQL
Graphcool Framework
Figma
TypeScript
JavaScript
Framework7
#Template7
#HandleBars
#AdobeXD
#Electron
#Less
#Sass
#SCSS
#CSS3
#Css

I needed to choose a full stack of tools for cross platform mobile application design & development. After much research, trying different tools, and many years of mobile and web software design & development, these are what I came up with that work for me today:

For the client coding I chose Framework7 because of its performance, easy learning curve, and very well designed, beautiful UI widgets. I think it's perfect for solo development or small teams. I didn't like React Native. It felt heavy to me and rigid. Framework7 allows the use of #CSS3, which I think is the best technology to come out of the #WWW movement. No other tech has been able to allow designers and developers to develop such flexible, high performance, customisable user interface elements that are highly responsive and hardware accelerated before. Now #CSS3 includes variables and flexboxes it is truly a powerful language and there is no longer a need for preprocessors such as #SCSS / #Sass / #less. React Native contains a very limited interpretation of #CSS3 which I found very frustrating after using #CSS3 for some years already and knowing its powerful features. The other very nice feature of Framework7 is that you can even build for the browser if you want your app to be available for desktop web browsers. The latest release also includes the ability to build for #Electron so you can have MacOS, Windows and Linux desktop apps. This is not possible with React Native yet.

Framework7 runs on top of Apache Cordova. Cordova and webviews have been slated as being slow in the past. Having a game developer background I found the tweeks to make it run as smooth as silk. One of those tweeks is to use WKWebView. Another important one was using srcset on images.

I use #Template7 for the templating system which is a no-nonsense mobile-centric #HandleBars style extensible templating system. It's easy to write custom helpers for, is fast and has a small footprint. I'm not forced into a new paradigm or learning some new syntax. It operates with standard JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS 3. It's written by the developer of Framework7 and so dovetails with it as expected.

JavaScript is very far from my ideal language. To make life bearable I configured TypeScript to work with the latest version of Framework7. This makes me feel like I'm back in the good old Java days, but with more flexibility. I consider TypeScript to be one of the rare best creations to come out of Microsoft in some time. They must have an amazing team working on it. It's very powerful and flexible.

For the user interface design and prototyping I use Figma. Figma has an almost identical user interface to Sketch but has the added advantage of being cross platform (MacOS and Windows). Its real-time collaboration features are outstanding and I use them a often as I work mostly on remote projects. Clients can collaborate in real-time and see changes I make as I make them. The clickable prototyping features in Figma are also very well designed and mean I can send clickable prototypes to clients to try user interface updates as they are made and get immediate feedback. I'm currently also evaluating the latest version of #AdobeXD as an alternative to Figma as it has the very cool auto-animate feature. It doesn't have real-time collaboration yet, but I heard it is proposed for 2019.

For the UI icons I use Font Awesome Pro. They have the largest selection and best looking icons you can find on the internet.

For the backend I chose Graphcool Framework. It has great customer support and a very accessible free startup plan for working on new projects. I was never a fan of relational databases so I'm very pleased to see NoSQL / GraphQL databases coming to the fore and I'm happy to use them. No more server side API development required! NoSQL databases are so much more flexible and the way I think databases were meant to be from the start. GraphQL still has some way to go in order to provide the full power of a mature graph query language like #Cypher, but I'm still enjoying it in its current incarnation.

For the IDE I use Visual Studio Code which is blazingly fast and silky smooth for editing code, and integrates seamlessly with TypeScript for the ultimate type checking setup (both products are produced by Microsoft).

I use Webpack and Babel to compile the JavaScript. TypeScript can compile to JavaScript directly but Babel offers a few more options and polyfills so you can use the latest (and even prerelease) JavaScript features today and compile to be backwards compatible with virtually any browser. My favorite recent addition is "optional chaining" which greatly simplifies and increases readability of a number of sections of my code dealing with getting and setting data in nested objects.

I use some Ruby scripts to process images with ImageMagick and pngquant to optimise for size and even auto insert responsive image code into the HTML5. Ruby is the ultimate cross platform scripting language. Even as your scripts become large, Ruby allows you to refactor your code easily and make it Object Oriented if necessary. I find it the quickest and easiest way to maintain certain aspects of my build process.

I use PhoneGap when testing the app. It auto-reloads your app when its code is changed and you can also install it on Android phones to preview your app instantly. iOS is a bit more tricky cause of Apple's policies so it's not available on the App Store, but you can build it and install it yourself to your device.

So that's my latest mobile stack. What tools do you use? Have you tried these ones?

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Gordon Wintrob
Gordon Wintrob
at Newfront Insurance · | 4 upvotes · 11.2K views
Babel
Webpack
Ember.js
Create React App
Next.js
#JS

We needed a frontend framework for to make it easier to work with JavaScript. We chose Next.js since it maintains the flexibility of something like Create React App but gives some structure on how to organize the app similar to Ember.js.

Webpack and Babel are configured out of the box for #ServerSideRendering, #TreeShaking, and other nice #JS features.

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Russel Werner
Russel Werner
Lead Engineer at StackShare · | 4 upvotes · 1.8K views
atStackShare
Babel

We use Babel because here at StackShare, we love using the latest and greatest technology, and this includes the latest and greatest JavaScript language features. We try to keep it simple, while maximising our developer happiness and efficiency.

We are currently using the @babel/env and @babel/react presets, along with a few plugins, including the "dynamic import" syntax, so we can pull in bundles async.

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Babel's features

  • Array comprehensions
  • Arrow functions
  • Async functions
  • Async generator functions
  • Classes
  • Class properties
  • Computed property names
  • Constants
  • Decorators
  • Default parameters
  • Destructuring
  • Exponentiation operator
  • For-of
  • Generators
  • Generator comprehensions
  • Let scoping
  • Modules
  • Module export extensions
  • Object rest/spread
  • Property method assignment
  • Property name shorthand
  • Rest parameters
  • React
  • Spread
  • Tail call optimisation
  • Template literals
  • Type annotations
  • Unicode regex
  • JSX
  • React
  • Flow
  • Node.js
  • Meteor
  • Rails
  • Broccoli
  • Browserify
  • Require.js
  • Brunch
  • Duo
  • Gobble
  • Grunt
  • Gulp
  • Make
  • Webpack
  • Connect
  • Jade
  • Jest
  • Karma
  • Mocha
  • Nodemon

Babel Alternatives & Comparisons

What are some alternatives to Babel?
Webpack
A bundler for javascript and friends. Packs many modules into a few bundled assets. Code Splitting allows to load parts for the application on demand. Through "loaders" modules can be CommonJs, AMD, ES6 modules, CSS, Images, JSON, Coffeescript, LESS, ... and your custom stuff.
TypeScript
TypeScript is a language for application-scale JavaScript development. It's a typed superset of JavaScript that compiles to plain JavaScript.
CoffeeScript
CoffeeScript is a little language that compiles into JavaScript. Underneath that awkward Java-esque patina, JavaScript has always had a gorgeous heart. CoffeeScript is an attempt to expose the good parts of JavaScript in a simple way.
ESLint
A pluggable and configurable linter tool for identifying and reporting on patterns in JavaScript. Maintain your code quality with ease.

Babel's Stats