Evan Wallace has recently made ESBuild. It really seems like ESBuild has caused quite a stir, because it transpiles JS/TS code really quick. This happens because the build tool is written in Go, instead of JS like most popular JS build tools. Being written in Go makes the build tool very very fast. ESBuild seemingly started just as a proof of concept.

I’m hoping that this project serves as an “existence proof” that our JavaScript tooling can be much, much faster.


Having had my eyebrows raised by ESBuild, I decided to give it a shot. I am currently using ESBuild to transpile the JS of my Hugo theme that is used in my websites. ESBuild makes a very compelling argument to not have any efficient build tools be made with JS. Which makes sense right? I mean, isn’t JS quite slow when it comes to IO? And building JS files depends quite heavily on IO? So shouldn’t build tools be made with a programming language that handles IO so much better?

I mentioned this to a relative, and he responded that the typical JS build tools could be the way they are to encourage JS developers to contribute. Which is a valid point I think. Plus, JS is just really easy to pick up. So it could be that other JS bundlers will just keep on going, which seems totally fine. Maybe the other JS bundlers will start replacing portions of their code with more efficient binaries?

Still, I think this is an age where people are trying to make things faster, even though things are already fast. And ESBuild makes a great point to show how much faster and efficient transpiling JS files could be.