History JavaScript Software Engineering

Babel JavaScript Compiler – Transcompiler

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Babel is a free and open-source JavaScript transcompiler that is mainly used to convert ECMAScript 2015+ (ES6+) code into a backwards compatible version of JavaScript that can be run by older JavaScript engines. Babel is a popular tool for using the newest features of the JavaScript programming language.[3]

Developers can use new JavaScript language features by using Babel to convert their source code into versions of JavaScript that evolving browsers are able to process.[4] The core version of Babel was downloaded 5 million times a month as of 2016, increasing to 16 million times per week as of 2019.[5][6]

Babel plugins are used to transform syntax that is not widely supported into a backwards-compatible version. For example, arrow functions, which are specified in ES6, are converted into regular function declarations.[7] Non-standard JavaScript syntax such as JSX can also be transformed.[8][9]

Babel provides polyfills to provide support for features that are missing entirely from JavaScript environments. For example, static methods like Array.from and built-ins like Promise are only available in ES6+, but they can be used in older environments if a Babel polyfill is used.[10]

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