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There was a battle? Transpile is between human readable sources, and compiler is always into machine readable code. This is the only project that I've seen to (for some reason) not conform to that definition. I guess I don't see the point of contention.

> compiler is always into machine readable code

The frustrating bit is that this is absolutely not true. A compiler is anything that parses some text according to some grammar, manipulates it, and emits it in a different format. While the most well-known and popular compilers are for C, to emit machine code, there's nothing inherent in the definition of a compiler that means it can't emit something human-readable.

I wouldn't have nearly as much issue with this if the JavaScript community instead had decided "compiler isn't specific enough: we need different words for compilers that drop vs. maintain a level of abstraction", rather than "we need a word for a thing like a compiler, but that doesn't, as compilers apparently inherently do, drop a level of abstraction".

Transpilers used to be called "source-to-source compilers", or "compilers" when the "source-to-source" distinction wasn't relevant.

Then the JS world came along and decided to use a new word to make it look more hip and cool.

>decided to use a new word

A friendly FYI... the old word "transpiler" has been around since at least the 1960s. See the 2nd-to-last paragraph on the last page:


It's not a new word. People have been using the word "transpiler" or "transcompiler" for source-to-source compilers since at least the late 80's [0]. They used to be popular for translating between different dialects of assembly. Then they fell out of fashion for a while before gaining popularity again in the last decade for targeting JavaScript. So while the "JS world" is responsible for re-popularizing both the word and the concept, they certainly didn't invent it.

[0]edit: Apparently 60's.

YACC compiles human readable source to human readable source.

Is it YACT now?

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