Slides for my talk "Easing into ECMAScript 6 and Beyond" at EmpireJS 2014
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Easing into ECMAScript 6 and Beyond

Ben Newman (Facebook)
EmpireJS 2014
4:50pm Tuesday, May 6th


Recent progress toward the next version of the ECMAScript specification is certainly exciting, but some of us have a hard time waiting for the future to get here. At Facebook we have already implemented a few of the most promising ECMAScript 6 features in terms of browser-safe JavaScript-of-today, and we are thrilled to be releasing that growing toolchain as an open source project for the benefit of (and so that we might benefit from) the broader JS community. Now, it’s one thing to add support for new language features to your build process, but quite another challenge to change old habits and popularize best practices at the scale of the Facebook codebase. This talk explains not only how we’ve made the best parts of ECMAScript 6 (classes, arrow functions, rest parameters, generators, and more) production-ready at Facebook, but also how we communicated the news to thousands of developers and accelerated the conversion of tens of thousands of files from the old idioms to the new.


A common thread that runs through my history of employment at Meebo, Apture, Mozilla, Quora, and Facebook is a passion for exploring the limits of dynamic programming languages. Many of my most recent projects at Facebook, including React and Regenerator, have involved large-scale automatic code transformation that would be difficult or impossible without the tool chain I've developed over the last two years. As one of Facebook's delegates to the TC39 standards body tasked with specifying the next version of JavaScript (ECMAScript 6), I am especially excited about the future of the language and how we might bring about that future as quickly as possible.