Future of TypeScript

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With the advancements in UI development domain, it is not uncommon to encounter a new framework or a language from time to time. But one scripting language that has stayed persistently is JavaScript. Be it a small web project using small simple scripts or a huge project based on Angular, Vue, ReactJS, Ember.js, etc.

Do you want to explore informative content on Angular? Just go through this link: Informative blogs on Angular.

JavaScript is Possibly Everywhere

With products like Node.js, we have seen JavaScript working on the back end too apart from only in the front end.

Now amidst all this in the scope of using and learning JavaScript, we may have come across the term “TypeScript”. To some it may be relatively new, some developers swear by it and some consider it a bane. Let’s look into what exactly is “TypeScript”.

What is TypeScript?

TypeScript (TS) is a developed by Microsoft and it is a strongly-typed superset of JavaScript. It adds some syntax based benefits to the JavaScript. It gives developers a way to write declarative style syntax like

  • Interfaces
  • Static Typing
  • Modules 
  • Classes
  • Namespaces
  • Access Modifiers etc.

In other words, we can say that TypeScript is an Object-Oriented version of JavaScript (JS), so it adds OOPS to the scripting language. TS was developed for handling large projects that needed JS and also it is favored by developers who come from C#/ Java experience and are not comfortable with the functional style of programming like in JavaScript.

Ultimately TypeScript compiles to plain JavaScript as TypeScript is not comprehensible by the web browser. In a way, we can say the TS can be called a “transpiler”. Transpiler is an application that converts from language to another.

Is it Worth the Effort?

Learning to use TS and setting it up can be pint points for any developer. At the end of everything, TS boils down to vanilla JavaScript. A developer who aims to perfect TS without has a good grasp of JS can consider themselves in trouble. Without having a strong foundation, we cannot build strong buildings! The best way to learn TS if by going for an advanced TypeScript course.

Some reasons developers state for using TS are:

  • TS is easier than JavaScript: for someone who is coming from n OOPS style of programming it may seem little overwhelming to learn vanilla JS. But this should not be an excuse for having competence in JavaScript
  • To use ES6 features: merely to use features like modules, classes, arrow functions we cannot add an overhead of a completely new language to a project. The same can be achieved using transpilers like babel.
  • Type Checking: TS is not the only way to achieve type checking, particularly if we are working on smaller projects individual component testing can make sure that we are not making any type of checking issues.

All these reasons/ excuses may vary from developer to developer. For some it is their comfort zone, for some, it’s about managing a big project as managing them in vanilla JavaScript can be cumbersome. Many companies are moving to TS for the sake of managing big projects as TS is advantageous to use when working with a big team.

Also, developers use Visual Studio for developing projects in TS as it makes it faster having an IntelliSense and compilation. At the end of all this, many developers question the existence of this language and think whether it is really worth making a move to TS. Some reasons that make developers think so are:

  • Takes more time to compile and recompile
  • For smaller projects that need type checking using TS may only increase overhead than do any good
  • There are alternatives like babel that let you achieve all of the ES6 features etc without having to learn another language etc.

Pros of TypeScript

  • It provides you with an amazing set of OOP features that are Object Oriented Programming Features. These are the ones that are too hard to understand until and unless you are not an experienced JavaScript programmer. Also, it helps in providing a tidy code that is easy to understand.
  • As we all know that earlier all the browsers thought that it won’t be efficient to run plug-in on browsers as that might deteriorate the quality of browsers. That is why all the modern technologies on the web translate themselves such that they are understood by the browsers. So, now if you write code in any TypeScript browser will automatically convert it to JavaScript and will easily run it on a browser without showing any error.
  • It is the best option to choose if you are a back end developer. This is because they are usually more comfortable with the OOP content and use it efficiently. Then the TS transpiler can do the complex work.
  • Nowadays it is a very famous scripting language that is used in mostly all the popular frameworks. It gained its popularity when Angular 2 embedded TypeScript into it. This was its turning point.

Cons of TypeScript

  • Although TS is very popular among front end developers but not all JavaScript can get complete knowledge of this. If the whole team wants to work with this then the learning curve becomes difficult.
  • There will be need of editor plug-in to run which also includes the improvements in highlights as well as formatting of keywords in TS. It is best to use a visual studio if working with TS.
  • Though mostly CMS allows you to edit .css as well as .html files they do not tend to edit TypeScript files. So, this will require extra effort.
  • This gets updated at a very slow pace which means there might be bugs for more duration of time.

Summary

Currently, we are in a world where JavaScript is the most used scripting language for not only building web-based projects but also software these days. With node.js, it’s on the backend, with Electron it’s native on your machine, with React Native, it’s native on your phone.

JavaScript is available across all ecosystems. Having all this TypeScript may float around for developers who are comfortable in C# like programming environments or for projects that have ongoing or legacy projects built-in TS, but it will help developers if they maintain a base hold on JavaScript and then apply frameworks based on it. 

Thus we have seen that TypeScript is a growing programming language and its future is certainly bright. To become its master it is recommended to go for an advanced TypeScript course.

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