Alternatives to Babel logo

Alternatives to Babel

Webpack, TypeScript, CoffeeScript, ESLint, and rollup are the most popular alternatives and competitors to Babel.
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What is Babel and what are its top alternatives?

Babel will turn your ES6+ code into ES5 friendly code, so you can start using it right now without waiting for browser support.
Babel is a tool in the JavaScript Compilers category of a tech stack.
Babel is an open source tool with 40K GitHub stars and 5.1K GitHub forks. Here’s a link to Babel's open source repository on GitHub

Top Alternatives to Babel

  • Webpack

    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

    TypeScript is a language for application-scale JavaScript development. It's a typed superset of JavaScript that compiles to plain JavaScript. ...

  • CoffeeScript

    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

    ESLint

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

  • rollup

    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. ...

  • Modernizr

    Modernizr

    It’s a collection of superfast tests or detects as we like to call them which run as your web page loads, then you can use the results to tailor the experience to the user. It tells you what HTML, CSS and JavaScript features the user’s browser has to offer. ...

  • Scala.js

    Scala.js

    It is a safer way to build robust front-end web applications. With it, typos and type-errors are immediately caught and shown to you in your editor, without even needing to compile your code. Refactor any field or method with ease, with the confidence that if you mess it up the editor will tell you immediately ...

  • Hermes

    Hermes

    It is a JavaScript engine optimized for fast start up of React Native apps on Android. It features ahead-of-time static optimization and compact bytecode. ...

Babel alternatives & related posts

Webpack logo

Webpack

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A bundler for javascript and friends
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PROS OF WEBPACK
  • 308
    Most powerful bundler
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    Built-in dev server with livereload
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    Can handle all types of assets
  • 87
    Easy configuration
  • 21
    Laravel-mix
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    Overengineered, Underdeveloped
  • 2
    Webpack-Encore
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    Makes it easy to bundle static assets
  • 1
    Redundant
  • 1
    Better support in Browser Dev-Tools
CONS OF WEBPACK
  • 12
    Hard to configure
  • 3
    No clear direction
  • 2
    Spaghetti-Code out of the box
  • 2
    SystemJS integration is quite lackluster
  • 2
    Loader architecture is quite a mess (unreliable/buggy)
  • 2
    Fire and Forget mentality of Core-Developers

related Webpack posts

Jonathan Pugh
Software Engineer / Project Manager / Technical Architect · | 25 upvotes · 1.6M views

I needed to choose a full stack of tools for cross platform mobile application design & development. After much research and trying different tools, these are what I came up with that work for me today:

For the client coding I chose Framework7 because of its performance, easy learning curve, and very well designed, beautiful UI widgets. I think it's perfect for solo development or small teams. I didn't like React Native. It felt heavy to me and rigid. Framework7 allows the use of #CSS3, which I think is the best technology to come out of the #WWW movement. No other tech has been able to allow designers and developers to develop such flexible, high performance, customisable user interface elements that are highly responsive and hardware accelerated before. Now #CSS3 includes variables and flexboxes it is truly a powerful language and there is no longer a need for preprocessors such as #SCSS / #Sass / #less. React Native contains a very limited interpretation of #CSS3 which I found very frustrating after using #CSS3 for some years already and knowing its powerful features. The other very nice feature of Framework7 is that you can even build for the browser if you want your app to be available for desktop web browsers. The latest release also includes the ability to build for #Electron so you can have MacOS, Windows and Linux desktop apps. This is not possible with React Native yet.

Framework7 runs on top of Apache Cordova. Cordova and webviews have been slated as being slow in the past. Having a game developer background I found the tweeks to make it run as smooth as silk. One of those tweeks is to use WKWebView. Another important one was using srcset on images.

I use #Template7 for the for the templating system which is a no-nonsense mobile-centric #HandleBars style extensible templating system. It's easy to write custom helpers for, is fast and has a small footprint. I'm not forced into a new paradigm or learning some new syntax. It operates with standard JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS 3. It's written by the developer of Framework7 and so dovetails with it as expected.

I configured TypeScript to work with the latest version of Framework7. I consider TypeScript to be one of the best creations to come out of Microsoft in some time. They must have an amazing team working on it. It's very powerful and flexible. It helps you catch a lot of bugs and also provides code completion in supporting IDEs. So for my IDE I use Visual Studio Code which is a blazingly fast and silky smooth editor that integrates seamlessly with TypeScript for the ultimate type checking setup (both products are produced by Microsoft).

I use Webpack and Babel to compile the JavaScript. TypeScript can compile to JavaScript directly but Babel offers a few more options and polyfills so you can use the latest (and even prerelease) JavaScript features today and compile to be backwards compatible with virtually any browser. My favorite recent addition is "optional chaining" which greatly simplifies and increases readability of a number of sections of my code dealing with getting and setting data in nested objects.

I use some Ruby scripts to process images with ImageMagick and pngquant to optimise for size and even auto insert responsive image code into the HTML5. Ruby is the ultimate cross platform scripting language. Even as your scripts become large, Ruby allows you to refactor your code easily and make it Object Oriented if necessary. I find it the quickest and easiest way to maintain certain aspects of my build process.

For the user interface design and prototyping I use Figma. Figma has an almost identical user interface to #Sketch but has the added advantage of being cross platform (MacOS and Windows). Its real-time collaboration features are outstanding and I use them a often as I work mostly on remote projects. Clients can collaborate in real-time and see changes I make as I make them. The clickable prototyping features in Figma are also very well designed and mean I can send clickable prototypes to clients to try user interface updates as they are made and get immediate feedback. I'm currently also evaluating the latest version of #AdobeXD as an alternative to Figma as it has the very cool auto-animate feature. It doesn't have real-time collaboration yet, but I heard it is proposed for 2019.

For the UI icons I use Font Awesome Pro. They have the largest selection and best looking icons you can find on the internet with several variations in styles so you can find most of the icons you want for standard projects.

For the backend I was using the #GraphCool Framework. As I later found out, #GraphQL still has some way to go in order to provide the full power of a mature graph query language so later in my project I ripped out #GraphCool and replaced it with CouchDB and Pouchdb. Primarily so I could provide good offline app support. CouchDB with Pouchdb is very flexible and efficient combination and overcomes some of the restrictions I found in #GraphQL and hence #GraphCool also. The most impressive and important feature of CouchDB is its replication. You can configure it in various ways for backups, fault tolerance, caching or conditional merging of databases. CouchDB and Pouchdb even supports storing, retrieving and serving binary or image data or other mime types. This removes a level of complexity usually present in database implementations where binary or image data is usually referenced through an #HTML5 link. With CouchDB and Pouchdb apps can operate offline and sync later, very efficiently, when the network connection is good.

I use PhoneGap when testing the app. It auto-reloads your app when its code is changed and you can also install it on Android phones to preview your app instantly. iOS is a bit more tricky cause of Apple's policies so it's not available on the App Store, but you can build it and install it yourself to your device.

So that's my latest mobile stack. What tools do you use? Have you tried these ones?

See more
Simon Reymann
Senior Fullstack Developer at QUANTUSflow Software GmbH · | 20 upvotes · 806.8K views

Our whole Vue.js frontend stack (incl. SSR) consists of the following tools:

  • Nuxt.js consisting of Vue CLI, Vue Router, vuex, Webpack and Sass (Bundler for HTML5, CSS 3), Babel (Transpiler for JavaScript),
  • Vue Styleguidist as our style guide and pool of developed Vue.js components
  • Vuetify as Material Component Framework (for fast app development)
  • TypeScript as programming language
  • Apollo / GraphQL (incl. GraphiQL) for data access layer (https://apollo.vuejs.org/)
  • ESLint, TSLint and Prettier for coding style and code analyzes
  • Jest as testing framework
  • Google Fonts and Font Awesome for typography and icon toolkit
  • NativeScript-Vue for mobile development

The main reason we have chosen Vue.js over React and AngularJS is related to the following artifacts:

  • Empowered HTML. Vue.js has many similar approaches with Angular. This helps to optimize HTML blocks handling with the use of different components.
  • Detailed documentation. Vue.js has very good documentation which can fasten learning curve for developers.
  • Adaptability. It provides a rapid switching period from other frameworks. It has similarities with Angular and React in terms of design and architecture.
  • Awesome integration. Vue.js can be used for both building single-page applications and more difficult web interfaces of apps. Smaller interactive parts can be easily integrated into the existing infrastructure with no negative effect on the entire system.
  • Large scaling. Vue.js can help to develop pretty large reusable templates.
  • Tiny size. Vue.js weights around 20KB keeping its speed and flexibility. It allows reaching much better performance in comparison to other frameworks.
See more
TypeScript logo

TypeScript

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A superset of JavaScript that compiles to clean JavaScript output
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PROS OF TYPESCRIPT
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    More intuitive and type safe javascript
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    Type safe
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    JavaScript superset
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    The best AltJS ever
  • 27
    Best AltJS for BackEnd
  • 14
    Powerful type system, including generics & JS features
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    Nice and seamless hybrid of static and dynamic typing
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    Aligned with ES development for compatibility
  • 9
    Compile time errors
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    Structural, rather than nominal, subtyping
  • 5
    Angular
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    Starts and ends with JavaScript
CONS OF TYPESCRIPT
  • 4
    Code may look heavy and confusing
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    Hype

related TypeScript posts

Yshay Yaacobi

Our first experience with .NET core was when we developed our OSS feature management platform - Tweek (https://github.com/soluto/tweek). We wanted to create a solution that is able to run anywhere (super important for OSS), has excellent performance characteristics and can fit in a multi-container architecture. We decided to implement our rule engine processor in F# , our main service was implemented in C# and other components were built using JavaScript / TypeScript and Go.

Visual Studio Code worked really well for us as well, it worked well with all our polyglot services and the .Net core integration had great cross-platform developer experience (to be fair, F# was a bit trickier) - actually, each of our team members used a different OS (Ubuntu, macos, windows). Our production deployment ran for a time on Docker Swarm until we've decided to adopt Kubernetes with almost seamless migration process.

After our positive experience of running .Net core workloads in containers and developing Tweek's .Net services on non-windows machines, C# had gained back some of its popularity (originally lost to Node.js), and other teams have been using it for developing microservices, k8s sidecars (like https://github.com/Soluto/airbag), cli tools, serverless functions and other projects...

See more
Adebayo Akinlaja
Engineering Manager at Andela · | 26 upvotes · 787K views

I picked up an idea to develop and it was no brainer I had to go with React for the frontend. I was faced with challenges when it came to what component framework to use. I had worked extensively with Material-UI but I needed something different that would offer me wider range of well customized components (I became pretty slow at styling). I brought in Evergreen after several sampling and reads online but again, after several prototype development against Evergreen—since I was using TypeScript and I had to import custom Type, it felt exhaustive. After I validated Evergreen with the designs of the idea I was developing, I also noticed I might have to do a lot of styling. I later stumbled on Material Kit, the one specifically made for React . It was promising with beautifully crafted components, most of which fits into the designs pages I had on ground.

A major problem of Material Kit for me is it isn't written in TypeScript and there isn't any plans to support its TypeScript version. I rolled up my sleeve and started converting their components to TypeScript and if you'll ask me, I am still on it.

In summary, I used the Create React App with TypeScript support and I am spending some time converting Material Kit to TypeScript before I start developing against it. All of these components are going to be hosted on Bit.

If you feel I am crazy or I have gotten something wrong, I'll be willing to listen to your opinion. Also, if you want to have a share of whatever TypeScript version of Material Kit I end up coming up with, let me know.

See more
CoffeeScript logo

CoffeeScript

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A little language that compiles into JavaScript
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PROS OF COFFEESCRIPT
  • 198
    Easy to read
  • 179
    Faster to write
  • 126
    Syntactic sugar
  • 104
    Elegant
  • 104
    Readable
  • 73
    Pretty
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    Javascript the good parts
  • 48
    Open source
  • 44
    Classes
  • 35
    "it's just javascript"
  • 16
    Compact code
  • 15
    Easy
  • 13
    Simple
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    Not Javascript
  • 2
    Does the same with less code
  • 1
    I'm jobs I'm software engineer
CONS OF COFFEESCRIPT
  • 2
    No ES6
  • 1
    Corner cases in syntax
  • 1
    Parentheses required in 0-ary function calls
  • 1
    Unclear what will be grouped to {…}

related CoffeeScript posts

Stitch’s frontend is used to configure data sources and destinations and monitor the status of each. Although we have been using AngularJS since its early days, we recently introduced React components into our front end, which many of our developers find easier to work with. We started using CoffeeScript when it was one of the few options for a more expressive alternative to vanilla JavaScript, but today we opt to instead write new code in ES6, which we feel is a more mature alternative.

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Eli Hooten

We chose TypeScript at Codecov when undergoing a recent rewrite of a legacy front end. Our previous front end was a mishmash of vanilla JavaScript and CoffeeScript , and was expanded upon haphazardly as the need arose. Without a unifying set of paradigms and patterns, the CoffeeScript and JavaScript setup was proving hard to maintain and expand upon by an engineering team. During a move to Vue.js , we decided to also make the move to TypeScript. Integrating TypeScript and Vue.js is fairly well understood at this point, so the setup wasn't all that difficult, and we felt that the benefits of incorporating TypeScript would outweigh the required time to set it up and get our engineering team up to speed.

Choosing to add TypeScript has given us one more layer to rely on to help enforce code quality, good standards, and best practices within our engineering organization. One of the biggest benefits for us as an engineering team has been how well our IDEs and editors (e.g., Visual Studio Code ) integrate with and understand TypeScript . This allows developers to catch many more errors at development time instead of relying on run time. The end result is safer (from a type perspective) code and a more efficient coding experience that helps to catch and remove errors with less developer effort.

See more
ESLint logo

ESLint

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The fully pluggable JavaScript code quality tool
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PROS OF ESLINT
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    Consistent javascript - opinions don't matter anymore
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    IDE Integration
  • 4
    Free
  • 3
    Customizable
  • 2
    Focuses code review on quality not style
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    Broad ecosystem of support & users
CONS OF ESLINT
    Be the first to leave a con

    related ESLint posts

    Simon Reymann
    Senior Fullstack Developer at QUANTUSflow Software GmbH · | 28 upvotes · 3.3M views

    Our whole DevOps stack consists of the following tools:

    • GitHub (incl. GitHub Pages/Markdown for Documentation, GettingStarted and HowTo's) for collaborative review and code management tool
    • Respectively Git as revision control system
    • SourceTree as Git GUI
    • Visual Studio Code as IDE
    • CircleCI for continuous integration (automatize development process)
    • Prettier / TSLint / ESLint as code linter
    • SonarQube as quality gate
    • Docker as container management (incl. Docker Compose for multi-container application management)
    • VirtualBox for operating system simulation tests
    • Kubernetes as cluster management for docker containers
    • Heroku for deploying in test environments
    • nginx as web server (preferably used as facade server in production environment)
    • SSLMate (using OpenSSL) for certificate management
    • Amazon EC2 (incl. Amazon S3) for deploying in stage (production-like) and production environments
    • PostgreSQL as preferred database system
    • Redis as preferred in-memory database/store (great for caching)

    The main reason we have chosen Kubernetes over Docker Swarm is related to the following artifacts:

    • Key features: Easy and flexible installation, Clear dashboard, Great scaling operations, Monitoring is an integral part, Great load balancing concepts, Monitors the condition and ensures compensation in the event of failure.
    • Applications: An application can be deployed using a combination of pods, deployments, and services (or micro-services).
    • Functionality: Kubernetes as a complex installation and setup process, but it not as limited as Docker Swarm.
    • Monitoring: It supports multiple versions of logging and monitoring when the services are deployed within the cluster (Elasticsearch/Kibana (ELK), Heapster/Grafana, Sysdig cloud integration).
    • Scalability: All-in-one framework for distributed systems.
    • Other Benefits: Kubernetes is backed by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), huge community among container orchestration tools, it is an open source and modular tool that works with any OS.
    See more
    Simon Reymann
    Senior Fullstack Developer at QUANTUSflow Software GmbH · | 20 upvotes · 806.8K views

    Our whole Vue.js frontend stack (incl. SSR) consists of the following tools:

    • Nuxt.js consisting of Vue CLI, Vue Router, vuex, Webpack and Sass (Bundler for HTML5, CSS 3), Babel (Transpiler for JavaScript),
    • Vue Styleguidist as our style guide and pool of developed Vue.js components
    • Vuetify as Material Component Framework (for fast app development)
    • TypeScript as programming language
    • Apollo / GraphQL (incl. GraphiQL) for data access layer (https://apollo.vuejs.org/)
    • ESLint, TSLint and Prettier for coding style and code analyzes
    • Jest as testing framework
    • Google Fonts and Font Awesome for typography and icon toolkit
    • NativeScript-Vue for mobile development

    The main reason we have chosen Vue.js over React and AngularJS is related to the following artifacts:

    • Empowered HTML. Vue.js has many similar approaches with Angular. This helps to optimize HTML blocks handling with the use of different components.
    • Detailed documentation. Vue.js has very good documentation which can fasten learning curve for developers.
    • Adaptability. It provides a rapid switching period from other frameworks. It has similarities with Angular and React in terms of design and architecture.
    • Awesome integration. Vue.js can be used for both building single-page applications and more difficult web interfaces of apps. Smaller interactive parts can be easily integrated into the existing infrastructure with no negative effect on the entire system.
    • Large scaling. Vue.js can help to develop pretty large reusable templates.
    • Tiny size. Vue.js weights around 20KB keeping its speed and flexibility. It allows reaching much better performance in comparison to other frameworks.
    See more
    rollup logo

    rollup

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    The next-generation JavaScript module bundler
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    PROS OF ROLLUP
    • 3
      Makes it easy to publish packages
    • 3
      Easier configuration
    • 2
      Better tree shaking
    • 2
      Provides smaller bundle size
    • 1
      Produces very clean code
    • 1
      Very reliable
    • 1
      Very robust Plugin-API (years old Plugins still work)
    • 1
      Very flexible
    • 1
      Was built with ESM-Modules in mind
    • 1
      Integrates seamlessly with SystemJS
    CONS OF ROLLUP
    • 1
      No clear path for static assets
    • 1
      No Loader like Webpack (need to use sjs or ESM imports)
    • 1
      Almost everything needs to be a Plugin
    • 1
      Manual Chunking is a bit buggy

    related rollup posts

    Modernizr logo

    Modernizr

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    Respond to your user’s browser features
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    PROS OF MODERNIZR
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      CONS OF MODERNIZR
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        Scala.js logo

        Scala.js

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        The Scala to JavaScript compiler
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        PROS OF SCALA.JS
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          CONS OF SCALA.JS
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            Hermes logo

            Hermes

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            An open source and lightweight JavaScript engine (by Facebook)
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            PROS OF HERMES
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              CONS OF HERMES
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