05-ES6 Transpilation

So, our javascript is just your run-of-the-mill, runs in the browser, ES5, boring old javascript. But we're making a shiny new, state-of-the-art javascript application, so we should really be pushing the latest and greatest ES6 syntax. Step up Babel.

Babel is a javascript transpiler. It will transpile (convert from one format to another), ES6 syntax javascript, to ES5 syntax javascript that is runnable in the browser. For this, we will require broccoli-babel-transpiler.

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yarn add --dev @babel/core@^7.1.0 broccoli-babel-transpiler@^7.0.0 @babel/preset-env@^7.1.0

Now open app/app.js and set the contents to:

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// app/app.js
const message = 'Eat your greens';
function foo() {
setTimeout(() => {
console.log(message);
console.log(this);
});
}
new foo();

And Brocfile.js

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// Brocfile.js
const funnel = require('broccoli-funnel');
const merge = require('broccoli-merge-trees');
const compileSass = require('broccoli-sass-source-maps')(require('sass'));
const babel = require('broccoli-babel-transpiler');

const appRoot = 'app';

// Copy HTML file from app root to destination
const html = funnel(appRoot, {
files: ["index.html"],
annotation: "Index file",
});

// Copy JS file into assets
let js = funnel(appRoot, {
files: ["app.js"],
destDir: "/assets",
annotation: "JS files",
});

// Transpile JS files to ES5
js = babel(js, {
browserPolyfill: true,
sourceMap: 'inline',
});

// Copy CSS file into assets
const css = compileSass(
[appRoot],
'styles/app.scss',
'assets/app.css',
{
sourceMap: true,
sourceMapContents: true,
annotation: "Sass files"
}
);

// Copy public files into destination
const public = funnel('public', {
annotation: "Public files",
});

module.exports = merge([html, js, css, public], {annotation: "Final output"});

Make a .babelrc file in the root directory:

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{
"presets": [
[
"@babel/env",
{
"targets": {
"browsers": ["last 2 versions"]
}
}
]
]
}

So what's happening here? First off, we've declared js as a mutable variable (let) rather than an immutable variable (cosnt) so we can re-assign it. Next, we pass the js tree into the babel transpiler, this will transpile the ES6 syntax to ES5. The .bablerc is the standard practice for configuring Babel, here we're targeting the last 2 major versions of each browser for transpilation, this means that language features that are unsupported in these browsers will have them transpiled into a format that is compatible.

If you build this now, and open dist/assets/app.js, you should see:

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// dist/assets/app.js
'use strict';

var message = 'Eat your greens';
function foo() {
var _this = this;

setTimeout(function () {
console.log(message);
console.log(_this);
});
}
new foo();
//# sourceMappingURL=...

So, a few things have happened here:

  • const has been changed to var
  • The arrow function () => {} inside the setTimeout has been converted to a regular function.
  • The use of this within the arrow function refers to the correct this context.
  • You should also notice the sourcemap at the bottom, this has to be inline for this plugin to work

If you run this in the browser, you'll see the message and the correct this is logged to the console.

Now try adding a debugger; statement into the function and notice that the console stops at the breakpoint. The presented source code should be the original ES6 version, not the transpiled ES5 version.

Completed Branch: 05-es6-transpilation

Next: 06-es6-modules