I am Alex Russell. Ask me anything.

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Kristofer Joseph's photo

What are your thoughts on transpilers and new JavaScript language features that have not yet landed in all browsers being treated as the "industry standard" way to write JavaScript?

Alex Russell's photo

Dragging the web platform into the mid-naughties, one spec at a time. Progressive Web Apps are my jam.

I feel some guilt about the current state of affairs. A team I led ("Parkour") built an early (the first?) ES.next -> ES.now transpiler -- "Traceur" -- in the ES6 timeframe...so to some extent, we started this fire.

And it is on fire. I see so many traces where the combination of Babel transpilation overhead and poor WebPack foo totally sink the performance of a site.

I'm happy that babel-present-env is now the norm, but I'm sad that we're still playing this game. To some degree I think it would be prudent for most developers to make a hard cut: only support browsers that support ES6 natively and give other users the progressively-enhanced experience (which you were doing, right?). Transpilers should fade away, not get more central to our workflows.

I less kind thoughts for proprietary, non-standards-track forks of HTML and JS (e.g., JSX), but will keep them to myself = )