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Babel vs PhpStorm: 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; PhpStorm: Professional IDE for PHP and Web Developers. PhpStorm is a PHP IDE which keeps up with latest PHP & web languages trends, integrates a variety of modern tools, and brings even more extensibility with support for major PHP frameworks.

Babel and PhpStorm are primarily classified as "JavaScript Compilers" and "Integrated Development Environment" tools respectively.

Some of the features offered by Babel are:

  • Array comprehensions
  • Arrow functions
  • Async functions

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

  • Smart PHP Code Editor
  • Code Quality Analysis
  • Debugging and Testing

"Modern Javascript works with all browsers", "Open source" and "Integration with lots of tools" are the key factors why developers consider Babel; whereas "Best ide for php", "Easy to use" and "Functionality" are the primary reasons why PhpStorm is favored.

Babel is an open source tool with 33.5K GitHub stars and 3.57K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Babel's open source repository on GitHub.

Instagram, 9GAG, and Intuit are some of the popular companies that use Babel, whereas PhpStorm is used by 9GAG, Grooveshark, and Lyft. Babel has a broader approval, being mentioned in 888 company stacks & 661 developers stacks; compared to PhpStorm, which is listed in 637 company stacks and 493 developer stacks.

Advice on Babel and PhpStorm
Johnny Bell

When I switched to Visual Studio Code 12 months ago from PhpStorm I was in love, it was great. However after using VS Code for a year, I see myself switching back and forth between WebStorm and VS Code. The VS Code plugins are great however I notice Prettier, auto importing of components and linking to the definitions often break, and I have to restart VS Code multiple times a week and sometimes a day.

We use Ruby here so I do like that Visual Studio Code highlights that for me out of the box, with WebStorm I'd need to probably also install RubyMine and have 2 IDE's going at the same time.

Should I stick with Visual Studio Code, or switch to something else? #help

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Replies (15)
Erik Ostrom

If you're working with both Ruby and JavaScript, buy RubyMine and shut down the other two. It's much better for Ruby than Visual Studio Code is. It can also do everything WebStorm does, if you install the plugins you need from JetBrains, and they all work together nicely.

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Marc Swikull

If you install RubyMine, you shouldn't need WebStorm, as all the functionality of WebStorm appears to be included in RubyMine. (See here:

I've used PhpStorm for several years and have never needed to open (or even download) WebStorm for anything front-end or JavaScript related.

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Russel Werner
Lead Engineer at StackShare | 6 upvotes 路 209K views

I work at the same company as you and I use WebStorm for 99% of my tasks. I also have RubyMine installed and use that when I have to tweak some backend code. I tried using RubyMine for JavaScript but was unhappy with how it felt and I believe that WebStorm is faster because it has less plugins and language extensions running. Summary: Buy and use WebStorm for primary development and keep VS Code around for when you have to touch Ruby.

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Danny Battison

JetBrains all the way - my entire team uses PhpStorm and none of us would even consider switching.

The availability of IDEs for other languages along with consistency in environment and keyboard shortcuts is also a godsend, which is the reason I'd also choose Rider over Visual Studio (but also VS for Mac is trash, but I digress...)

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I've never had much issue running multiple IDEs and generally pick them based on the languages they best support. For front end work where I mainly use TypeScript, I stick heavily with Visual Studio Code. However, for backend work which we do primarily in Python, PyCharm is my go-to editor. The one thing that I do however is I do remap keyboard shortcuts so I get consistent keyboard ability even when I switch IDEs.

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Visual Studio Code is a text editor. And this is best option in my opinion. For Ruby, I cannot say how VS Code is good. If you wanna choose IDE, RubyMine should fit your needs. Because IDEs are more compatible with major needs. But text editors are just text editor. You can do same things with also text editors. I recommend to try both VS Code and RubyMine. And you will be able to find which fits better for your needs

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If I have to choose one I would go with VS Code; it鈥檚 become pretty mature and keeps getting better. If those plugins are creating problems for you then just uninstall them, find an alternative, or make a PR to fix. But at the end of the day these are IDE鈥檚 and they are meant to save you time. I would go with whatever helps you develop code faster. If restarting VS code slows you down then make a switch, that personally would annoying the crap out of me. Else maybe it鈥檚 a quick restart, not the end of the word, hopefully someone will fix at some point.

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So here is the deal man, bottom line you want to write code. All of these tools are built in a mouse-driven world, they are designed not for engineers, but office monkeys. If you want a real workflow that gives you ultimate performance, customization and speed you need to use a modal editor, I suggest NeoVim. Start using it 20% of the time on single file edits, watch youtube videos about it and teach yourself vim gestures. It will infuriate you for 6 weeks, make you cry for another 2 months. But as you use it more, as long as your usage goes over 40% of the time, in 6 months you will understand why most of the world's too engineers use it. Settling on lesser editors out of laziness is exactly the attitude that results in shitty the engineering. Yeah it's hard. You're smart. You do hard things. Once it isn't hard anymore you will blow yourself away at how much more efficiently you edit files.

Also vim keybindings in a mouse driven editor does not cut it. Managing files, buffers and workflow is half of the value of vim/neovim. It is OK if you have to use an IDE (currently I only use an IDE for java development, so I have little choice)

So use VSCode while you teach yourself vim.

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I usually have both running but do the bulk of my language work in the appropriate JetBrains flavor. One thing to watch out for in VS is that under the hood it is running the tools needed for whatever language you are working with. This is where tools like JetBrains shine. While I am sure you can tune the heck out of what you use in VS, the provides context and clarity...

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Lungu Alexandru-Mihai

Well you can try for a while MacVim because it is already configured with tons of plugins. My favourite text editors are Sublime Text and TextMate which are lightweight and speedy. My feeling is that JetBrains IDEs are making you brainless.

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If you find something that works and are comfortable with it, stay with it. Changing IDE's and learning their idiosyncrasies takes valuable time away from programming while learning setups and keyboard short cuts. I personally use VS Code for cost and decent multiple language support. I've had issues occasionally with it locking up, but it is under heavy development and continually improving. I have also found it more intuitive for new programmers. ** Having profiles for different languages can reduce the amount of plugins running and issues they can cause.

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Kyle Schoonover
Senior Software Engineer at Nordstrom | 2 upvotes 路 173K views

I'm personally a Visual Studio Code fan. I've used it for both Go and Java. It really depends on the quality and support of the plugins. Typically VS Code doesn't crash as much as a bad plugin causes an unforeseen error. Make sure you stay up to date and look at alternative plugins.

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Visiual Studio is the best

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An integrated development environment software with huge potential in the future is VS Code. So I would personally say you can use VS code.

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Are you using the prettier-vscode VSCode extension or prettier via prettier-eslint? The prettier-vscode extension recommends you...

Use prettier-eslint instead of prettier. Other settings will only be fallbacks in case they could not be inferred from ESLint rules.

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Pros of Babel
Pros of PhpStorm
  • 164
    Modern Javascript works with all browsers
  • 77
    Open source
  • 60
    Integration with lots of tools
  • 56
    Easy setup
  • 26
    Very active on github
  • 2
    Source maps
  • 2
  • 2
  • 1
  • 287
    Best ide for php
  • 232
    Easy to use
  • 218
  • 166
  • 160
    Code analysis
  • 87
    Integrated version control
  • 76
    Great php ide for mac
  • 73
    All-round php ide
  • 62
    Local history
  • 53
  • 18
    Best PHP IDE
  • 11
    Database control
  • 10
    Easy to find anything and everything in your code
  • 9
    Best bebugging
  • 9
    Best inspection variable
  • 7
    Command line integration
  • 7
    Great frameworks integration
  • 7
    PHPUnit integration
  • 7
    Getting Better
  • 7
  • 6
    Composer integration
  • 6
  • 6
    Coolest IDE
  • 5
    Real time code validation
  • 5
    Easy to use and github interaction
  • 5
    Neat does the job and easy
  • 5
    Best ide for advanced php and symfony
  • 4
    Best ide for php
  • 4
    TypeScript support
  • 4
    Code indexing
  • 4
    It has no match. it filled one of the biggest void
  • 4
    Fast and relevant auto-complete
  • 4
    Great refactoring support
  • 4
    Cross platform
  • 3
    Integration with Vagrant and Docker
  • 3
    Debugger for Javascript
  • 3
  • 3
    Very good
  • 2
    Debugging in the Just-In-Time Mode
  • 2
    Perfect locahost / host sync
  • 2
    Awesome debugging features

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Cons of Babel
Cons of PhpStorm
    Be the first to leave a con
    • 14
      Uses a lot of memory
    • 10
      Does not open large files
    • 9
    • 8
      Uses Java machine
    • 3
      No way to change syntax highlight for files without ext
    • 2
      No save prompt or asterisk on file change

    Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

    - No public GitHub repository available -

    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 PhpStorm?

    PhpStorm is a PHP IDE which keeps up with latest PHP & web languages trends, integrates a variety of modern tools, and brings even more extensibility with support for major PHP frameworks.

    Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

    What companies use Babel?
    What companies use PhpStorm?
    See which teams inside your own company are using Babel or PhpStorm.
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    What tools integrate with Babel?
    What tools integrate with PhpStorm?

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