Yo, ES6

11 Jan, 2016 · #dev#js

The only thing I officially couldn’t write using ES6 syntax/Babel is Yeoman generator. Even it’s not something I write too often, this limitation is quite annoying when you actually write it. Here’s the workaround I came up with.


Build generator

  1. Create your generator project directory (you can use generator-generator for this).
  2. Create generator file within generators/* folder with any name, but not index.js. I usually call it index.es6.
  3. Write your generator in ES6 (see notes below how to make it more ES6’ish).
  4. Setup your Babel environment as usual (install modules, configure .babelrc etc.).
  5. Build your generator:
babel --out-file generators/app/index.js generators/app/index.es6

That’s it. You can use your generator written in ES6.


Make generator more ES6’ish

Use class syntax to create your Yeoman generator:

  • Use constructor instead of initializing method to attach your stuff to the instance.
  • Use class methods to define generator methods.
  • Use ES6 class getters to define generator properties.
import Yeoman from 'yeoman-generator';
class MyGenerator extends Yeoman.Base {
// Using constructor() instead of initializing()
constructor(...args) {
this.myStuff = ...;
// Using class methods
prompting() {
const done = this.async();
this.log(yosay('Welcome to the ... generator!'));
// ...
// Using ES6 class getter to define class property
get writing() {
return {
app() { ... },
// ...
// Exporting generator to Node as CommonJS module
module.exports = MyGenerator;

Here is an example of generator written in ES6 and published as npm module: generator-react-sandbox-server