Nick and Mikeal catch up with Henry Zhu, the maintainer of Babel and host of the Maintainers Anonymous and Hope in Source podcasts. We discuss his path to open source maintainer-ship. We also chat about best practices for interacting with maintainers, while remembering that people are behind open source, and we talk self-care and avoiding burnout, culminating in a self-care repo being created to gather and discuss tips to care for yourself.
Webpack and Babel are awesome, this article isn’t trying to say otherwise. We wouldn’t be able to use a lot of things if it weren’t for them, but the experience of using them together needs to get better. I faced many of these issues over the course of many months and understanding them/finding solutions was incredibly difficult (error messages don’t exactly tell you what went wrong and searching for them doesn’t always give relevant results), and I hope this article can act as the guide I had hoped to find back then.
I love posts these where you take your hard-won learnings and share them with the world in an attempt to save others from the same headaches.
Just getting started with Babel? Read this guide from Flavio Copes — it’s short, so maybe 2-3 minutes to skim or 10 minutes to read.
Babel is a compiler: it takes code written in one standard, and it transpiles it to code written into another standard.
After almost 2 years, 4k commits, over 50 pre-releases, and a lot of help we are excited to announce the release of Babel 7. It’s been almost 3 years since the release of Babel 6! There’s a lot of moving parts so please bear with us in the first weeks of release.
I wasn’t ready to become the maintainer of Babel. After all, I had never published my own npm package or explored much of the codebase. But slowly (sometimes really slowly) I got used to it. I recall Kent C. Dodds saying that if you want to be a maintainer, just act like and do the things a maintainers does.
Sounds easy enough 🤣. I particularly enjoyed the linked post on imposter syndrome from Rachel Smith.
In this episode Michael Jackson talks with Henry Zhu, maintainer of the hugely popular Babel project, about open source sustainability and what’s coming next for the Babel project.
This made the rounds back in December, but it’s still worth sharing as it’s so cool. Angus Croll re-wrote Leonard Cohen’s 1984 hit to sing the praises of Babel.js! 👏
I heard there was a clever trick
But you don’t really care for magic, do ya
Henry Zhu joined Nadia and Mikeal to discuss his work on Babel, how he became and accidental maintainer, why he thinks maintainers aren’t special, paid open source work, the Babel brand, and building community.
Check the feed, there are three new episodes of Request For Commits out there for you!!