ReactJS | Introduction to Babel
Introduction to Babel
What is a transpiler?
It is a tool that is used to convert source code into another source code that is of the same level. That is why it is also known as a source-to-source compiler. Both the codes are equivalent in nature, considering the fact that one works with the specific version of the browser and one doesn’t.
Note: It is also good to note that a compiler is totally different from a transpiler as the transpiler converts source code into another source code at the same abstraction level, whereas the compiler converts code into a lower level code generally. Like in Java, the source code is converted to byte Code which is lower level and not equivalent.
Why do we need Babel?
Features of Babel:
- Babel-Plugins: The Plugins are configuration details for Babel to transpile the code that supports a number of plugins, which could be used individually, provided the environment is known.
- Babel-Presets: Babel presets have a set of plugins that instruct Babel to transpile in a specific mode. provided the environment is known.
- Babel-Polyfills: During instances when methods and objects, cannot be transpiled, We can make use of babel-polyfill to facilitate the use of features in any browser.
- Babel-Polyfills: The Command-line interface of Babel has a lot of commands where the code can be easily compiled on the command line. It also has features like plugins and presets to be used along with the command making it easy to transpile the code at once
Before installing and making use of all the features of the Babel tool, let’s see a simple code of the latest standard version of ES2017 and see what happens to it when we pass it into the babel engine.
Some of the above code is not supported in some browsers, so after transpiling through Babel we will get:
In the next article, we will learn how to install Babel and will also see more examples of it.