Babel vs ESLint

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Babel vs ESLint: What are the differences?

  1. Key difference 1: Purpose - Babel is a transpiler that allows developers to write modern JavaScript code and convert it into backward-compatible versions to ensure compatibility across different browsers and platforms. On the other hand, ESLint is a linter that helps enforce code quality and maintainability by identifying and flagging potential errors, bugs, and inconsistencies in the code.

  2. Key difference 2: Functionality - Babel mainly focuses on transforming JavaScript syntax and features, such as arrow functions, async/await, and class properties. It allows developers to use newer language features in their code before they are natively supported. In contrast, ESLint primarily focuses on analyzing and enforcing coding style conventions, identifying problematic patterns, and providing suggestions for code improvements.

  3. Key difference 3: Configuration - Babel can be configured through a .babelrc file or specified directly in the build process, allowing developers to control the transformation process based on their specific requirements. On the other hand, ESLint is highly configurable and allows developers to define rules, plugins, and presets in .eslintrc files to enforce consistent code style and best practices.

  4. Key difference 4: Integration - Babel integrates well with existing build tools like webpack or Babel plugins, allowing seamless integration into the development workflow. It can be used alongside other tools such as TypeScript or ESLint itself for a complete development setup. On the other hand, ESLint can be integrated into popular code editors, build systems, and continuous integration (CI) pipelines to provide real-time code analysis and enforce consistent code quality.

  5. Key difference 5: Error Types - Babel primarily deals with syntax and language features, ensuring compatibility and transforming code accordingly. It identifies syntax errors or unsupported features during the transformation process. On the other hand, ESLint focuses on identifying logical errors, potential bugs, and code smells based on predefined rulesets or custom rules defined by the developer.

  6. Key difference 6: Developer Experience - Babel is primarily focused on providing a smooth development experience by enabling developers to write modern JavaScript code and ensuring compatibility across different environments. It allows developers to adopt newer language features without worrying about browser support. On the other hand, ESLint aims to improve code quality, readability, and maintainability by enforcing coding style and best practices, helping developers catch errors or problematic patterns early on.

In Summary, Babel is a transpiler that converts modern JavaScript code into backwards-compatible versions, enabling developers to use newer language features. ESLint is a linter that identifies code errors, enforces coding style conventions, and maintains code quality.

Advice on Babel and ESLint
Needs advice
ESLintESLintSass Lint Sass Lint

Scenario: I want to integrate Prettier in our code base which is currently using ESLint (for .js and .scss both). The project is using gulp.

It doesn't feel quite right to me to use ESLint, I wonder if it would be better to use Stylelint or Sass Lint instead.

I completed integrating ESLint + Prettier, Planning to do the same with [ Stylelint || Sasslint || EsLint] + Prettier.

And have gulp 'fix' on file save (Watcher).

Any recommendation is appreciated.

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Replies (3)
Amaro Mariño
Senior Frontend Developer at · | 6 upvotes · 153.9K views

In the case of .js files I would recommend using both Eslint and Prettier.

You can set up Prettier as an Eslint rule using the following plugin:

And in order to avoid conflicts between Prettier and Eslint, you can use this config:

Which turns off all Eslint rules that are unnecessary or might conflict with Prettier.

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Alexis Villegas Torres
Software Engineer at SpeedUrWeb · | 5 upvotes · 153.6K views

Pura vida! Well, I had a similar issue and at the end I decided to use Stylelint + Prettier for that job, in our case, we wanted that our linting process includes the SCSS files and not only the JS file, base on that we concluded that using only ESLint to do both things wasn't the best option, so, we integrated prettier with Stylelint, and for that we used a neat plugin that allowed us to use Prettier inside Stylelint here is the link,, I hope that this can help you, hasta pronto!, :)

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Alex Spieslechner

you don't actually have to choose between these tools as they have vastly different purposes. i think its more a matter of understanding how to use them.

while eslint and stylelint are used to notify you about code quality issues, to guide you to write better code, prettier automatically handles code formatting (without notifying me). nothing else.

prettier and eslint both officially discourage using the eslint-plugin-prettier way, as these tools actually do very different things. autofixing with linters on watch isnt a great idea either. auto-fixing should only be done intentionally. you're not alone though, as a lot of devs set this up wrong.

i encourage you to think about what problem you're trying to solve and configure accordingly.

for my teams i set it up like this: - eslint, stylelint, prettier locally installed for cli use and ide support - eslint config prettier (code formatting rules are not eslints business, so dont warn me about it) - vscode workspace config: format on save - separate npm scripts for linting, and formatting - precommit hooks (husky)

so you can easily integrate with gulp. its just js after all ;)

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Pros of Babel
Pros of ESLint
  • 165
    Modern Javascript works with all browsers
  • 77
    Open source
  • 60
    Integration with lots of tools
  • 56
    Easy setup
  • 26
    Very active on github
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
    Source maps
  • 1
  • 8
    Consistent javascript - opinions don't matter anymore
  • 6
  • 6
    IDE Integration
  • 4
  • 2
    Focuses code review on quality not style
  • 2
    Broad ecosystem of support & users

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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.

What is ESLint?

A pluggable and configurable linter tool for identifying and reporting on patterns in JavaScript. Maintain your code quality with ease.

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What are some alternatives to Babel and ESLint?
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 is a language for application-scale JavaScript development. It's a typed superset of JavaScript that compiles to plain JavaScript.
It adds syntactic sugar inspired by Ruby, Python and Haskell in an effort to enhance JavaScript's brevity and readability. Specific additional features include list comprehension and de-structuring assignment.
It is a module bundler for JavaScript which compiles small pieces of code into something larger and more complex, such as a library or application. It uses the new standardized format for code modules included in the ES6 revision of JavaScript, instead of previous idiosyncratic solutions such as CommonJS and AMD.
JavaScript is most known as the scripting language for Web pages, but used in many non-browser environments as well such as node.js or Apache CouchDB. It is a prototype-based, multi-paradigm scripting language that is dynamic,and supports object-oriented, imperative, and functional programming styles.
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