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Babel helps you write the latest version of JavaScript, and is helping shape the future of the language itself. It's used at Facebook, Google, Netflix, and hundreds of other companies. It's downloaded more than 9 million times a month on npm. (We're currently just a small group of volunteers that spends their free time maintaining this project)

When your target browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, IE) don't support certain features natively, it helps you compile it down to a supported version.

In short, developers want to take advantage of the latest syntax in JavaScript before it's implemented in browsers, now. Because the version of JavaScript depends on the client's browser, we can't rely on the fact they are using an up to date browser.

Babel abstracts the browser away so that you can worry about writing your application rather than trying to figure out what features are supported in each one.

For example: if you support an older browser such as Internet Explorer 9, it won't have any of the features in ECMAScript 2015 (ES6), so Babel will transform your code into ES5 which is supported.

ES2015 Template Strings

var name = 'Bob';
`Hello ${name}, how are you today?`

Compiled to ES5

var name = 'Bob';
'Hello ' + name + ', how are you today?';


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