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Babel

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Babel vs gulp: What are the differences?

Babel: Use next generation JavaScript, today. Babel will turn your ES6+ code into ES5 friendly code, so you can start using it right now without waiting for browser support; gulp: The streaming build system. Build system automating tasks: minification and copying of all JavaScript files, static images. More capable of watching files to automatically rerun the task when a file changes.

Babel belongs to "JavaScript Compilers" category of the tech stack, while gulp can be primarily classified under "JS Build Tools / JS Task Runners".

Some of the features offered by Babel are:

  • Array comprehensions
  • Arrow functions
  • Async functions

On the other hand, gulp provides the following key features:

  • By preferring code over configuration, gulp keeps simple things simple and makes complex tasks manageable.
  • By harnessing the power of node's streams you get fast builds that don't write intermediary files to disk.
  • gulp's strict plugin guidelines assure plugins stay simple and work the way you expect.

"Modern Javascript works with all browsers", "Open source" and "Integration with lots of tools" are the key factors why developers consider Babel; whereas "Build speed", "Readable" and "Code-over-configuration" are the primary reasons why gulp is favored.

Babel and gulp are both open source tools. It seems that Babel with 33.5K GitHub stars and 3.57K forks on GitHub has more adoption than gulp with 31.3K GitHub stars and 4.4K GitHub forks.

According to the StackShare community, gulp has a broader approval, being mentioned in 1158 company stacks & 689 developers stacks; compared to Babel, which is listed in 888 company stacks and 661 developer stacks.

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Pros of Babel
Pros of gulp
  • 163
    Modern Javascript works with all browsers
  • 77
    Open source
  • 60
    Integration with lots of tools
  • 56
    Easy setup
  • 26
    Very active on github
  • 2
    Love
  • 2
    JSX
  • 2
    Source maps
  • 1
    Extensions
  • 454
    Build speed
  • 277
    Readable
  • 244
    Code-over-configuration
  • 210
    Open source
  • 175
    Node streams
  • 107
    Intuitive
  • 84
    Lots of plugins
  • 66
    Works great with browserify
  • 45
    Easy to Learn
  • 17
    Laravel-elixir
  • 4
    build workflow
  • 3
    Great community
  • 3
    Simple & flexible
  • 2
    Stylus intergration
  • 2
    jade intergration
  • 0
    Well documented
  • 0
    Clean Code

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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 gulp?

Build system automating tasks: minification and copying of all JavaScript files, static images. More capable of watching files to automatically rerun the task when a file changes.

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What companies use Babel?
What companies use gulp?
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What tools integrate with Babel?
What tools integrate with gulp?

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What are some alternatives to Babel and gulp?
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
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.
ESLint
A pluggable and configurable linter tool for identifying and reporting on patterns in JavaScript. Maintain your code quality with ease.
rollup
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.
See all alternatives