Babel (transcompiler)

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Babel.js Logo
Original author(s)Sebastian McKenzie
Stable release
7.8.6 / February 27, 2020; 10 months ago (2020-02-27)[1]
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written inJavaScript
Operating systemLinux, macOS, Solaris, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, AIX, Microsoft Windows

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]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Babel.js Latest Release". Retrieved 29 February 2020.
  2. ^ "babel/LICENSE at master". GitHub. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Technology Radar | Emerging Technology Trends for 2017 | ThoughtWorks". Retrieved 2018-05-12.
  4. ^ "Why Babel Matters | codemix". Retrieved 2018-05-12.
  5. ^ "The State of Babel · Babel". Retrieved 2018-05-12.
  6. ^ "Babel's Funding Plans · Babel". Retrieved 2020-08-01.
  7. ^ "Plugins · Babel". Retrieved 5 July 2019.
  8. ^ "Introducing JSX - React". Retrieved 2018-05-12.
  9. ^ "Using React and building a web site on Azure". Microsoft Faculty Connection. Retrieved 2018-05-12.
  10. ^ "@babel/polyfill". Retrieved 5 July 2019.

External links[edit]