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Babel project is running out of money

Babel project is running out of money

The core team behind the open source JavaScript compiler seek corporate sponsors to fund the continued development of the project.

Credit: Dreamstime

Despite being used by millions, the open source Babel JavaScript compiler project is running out of money. The Babel development team is now seeking financial help, particularly from corporate sponsors.

In a bulletin posted May 10, the Babel core team wrote that, since 2018, it has been doing a funding experiment to determine if full-time work on Babel can be sustained, leveraging the Open Collective community funding platform. “We’ve learned the answer might be no,” they concluded.

To fully fund currently paid maintainers, the team needs at least $333,000 per year—twice what the group is currently collecting. The team welcomes and appreciates the help of individual donators, but is looking for more companies to become corporate sponsors, alongside current sponsors such as AMP, Airbnb, Salesforce, and Gitpod.

Open Collective and GitHub Sponsors are being leveraged as funding mechanisms. The team itself can be contacted at team@babeljs.io.

If possible, the team would like to expand the number of core team members who are paid to continue improving the technology. Goals include making Babel easier to configure, improving performance, and producing more optimised output. Better documentation also is sought. But a lack of funding could jeopardise Babel’s high standard of support and development, the team said.

Babel has been integrated into popular JavaScript/TypeScript frameworks including Angular, React, and Vue. The compiler is downloaded more than 117 million times a month, the core team said.


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