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ES6 For Beginners : Introduction to ES6

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ES6 short for ECMAScript 2015 was released in June 2015 and is the new specification for JavaScript. Before we go ahead and discuss more about ES6 and how to get started with it, lets talk about the history of ECMAScript and understand how it gets implemented.

In 1995  JavaScript was created by Brendan Eich at Netscape and soon was adapted by Microsoft as J-script. Other companies and browsers were not behind they to had their own version of JavaScript and it’s implementation. As you may guess this caused problems with standardization for features.

ECMA which stands for European Computer Manufacture Association was founded and shortly after that the first version of browser implementation specification for JavaScript was released which was called ECMAScript 1 in 1997.

Shortly after the release of ES1, ES2 and ES3 were also release. ES4 however was much argued about and was eventually abandoned to give way to ES5 in 2009.

ES5 brought many new features with it. Some of the most well know are new array methods like for..each, map(), filter().

We now have an official specification for ES6.

What Are The New ES6 Features?

With ES6 we have new keywords for variable declaration like let and const but the most exciting part according to me are the arrow functions ,classes ,template strings and default parameters.

 

One Important thing to note here is that when the ES6 spec was official in June 2015, it can not be implemented by browsers by a flick of a switch. Browser developers (such as Mozilla, Google,etc) will have to make changes and implement the new specified features. This can take Months if not years. And for the most parts is done in increments.

 

So how can you determine if your browser supports ES6 or not and if it does which features does it Support?

That’s easy head over to http://kangax.github.io/compat-table/es6/ there you will see supported features mentioned in green and not supported features in red. For comparison with ES5 you can visit http://kangax.github.io/compat-table/es5/ and see that it has a lot of green.

 

When Should You Use ES6?

Well you can do it now by using transpilers. A JavaScript transpiler for ES6 will convert the code that you write in ES6 to ES5 code which will then run smoothly in any browser.

Conclusion

ES6 will not only have new features but also will bring a lot of syntactical sugar that will make JavaScript code easy to write and understand.

 

Got A Question?

Hit me up in the comments here or on the comments section on my YouTube Channel or on twitter @pointDeveloper

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Prantik Vaghela (pointdeveloper)

Hi my name is Prantik Vaghela. I have done my Bachelors and Masters in Computer Science and am a web developer and now a Tutor through my blog. :-)

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