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Mastering JS: Do You Really Need Babel Anymore?

Babel has become largely synonymous with modern JavaScript, largely because of ES6 / ES2015. Because
Mastering JS: Do You Really Need Babel Anymore?
Babel has become largely synonymous with modern JavaScript, largely because of ES6 / ES2015. Because ES6 was such a massive change with so many new syntactic changes, you needed Babel (then known as 6to5 because it converted ES6 to ES5) to take advantage of generators, promises, arrow functions, and classes. Generators, in particular, were exceedingly difficult to mimic in ES5. But they were also the first mechanism that enabled writing truly asynchronous JS without callbacks.

Fast forward to 2019. ES6 is turning 4 years old in June. Microsoft Edge, released shortly after ES6, is now based on Chromium and is the default browser for Windows. Every modern browser supports async/await, unless you consider IE11 a modern browser:

Furthermore, the last two versions of JavaScript, ES2018 and ES2019, haven’t had as many groundbreaking features as ES2015 and ES2017. Rest/spread properties are convenient but not that different from Object.assign(). Array flatMap() is cool, but it is easy to polyfill and doesn’t require a transpiler.
Babel is a core part of the JavaScript ecosystem and an indispensable tool if you need broader browser compatibility. But look forward to seeing more tutorials about how to build modern web applications without Babel and Webpack.

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