TypeScript

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TypeScript
TypeScript Logo.png
Paradigm(s) Multi-paradigm: scripting, object-oriented, structured, imperative, functional, generic
Designed by Microsoft
Developer Microsoft
Appeared in October 1, 2012 (2012-10-01)[1]
Stable release 1.3 / November 12, 2014; 41 days ago (2014-11-12)[2]
Influenced by JavaScript, Java, C#
Influenced AtScript
Platform Cross-platform
License Apache License 2.0
Filename extension(s) .ts
Website www.typescriptlang.org

TypeScript is a free and open source programming language developed and maintained by Microsoft. It is a strict superset of JavaScript, and adds optional static typing and class-based object-oriented programming to the language. Anders Hejlsberg, lead architect of C# and creator of Delphi and Turbo Pascal, has worked on the development of TypeScript.[3][4][5][6]

TypeScript is designed for development of large applications and transcompiles to JavaScript.[7] As TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript, any existing JavaScript programs are also valid TypeScript programs.

TypeScript supports header files which can contain type information of existing JavaScript libraries, enabling other programs to use objects defined in the header files as if they were strongly typed TypeScript objects. There are third-party header files for popular libraries like jQuery, MongoDB, Node.js, and D3.js.[8]

TypeScript is licensed under the Apache 2 License.

Background[edit]

TypeScript originated from the perceived short-comings of JavaScript for the development of large-scale applications both at Microsoft and among their external customers.[9] Challenges with dealing with complex JavaScript code led to demand for custom tooling to ease developing of components in the language.[10]

TypeScript developers sought a solution that would not break compatibility with the standard and its cross-platform support. Knowing that the current ECMAScript standard proposal promised future support for class-based programming, TypeScript was based on that proposal. That led to a JavaScript compiler with a set of syntactical language extensions, a superset based on the proposal, that transforms the extensions into regular JavaScript. In this sense TypeScript is a preview of what to expect of ECMAScript 6. A unique aspect not in the proposal, but added to TypeScript, is optional static typing that enables static language analysis, which facilitates tooling and IDE support.

ECMAScript 6 support[edit]

TypeScript adds support for features proposed classes, modules and an arrow function syntax as they are proposed in the upcoming ECMAScript 6 standard.

Although the standard is not ready, Microsoft has said that it aims to align TypeScript's features with the proposed standard.

Language features[edit]

TypeScript is a language extension that adds features to ECMAScript 5. Additional features include:

Syntactically, TypeScript is very similar to JScript .NET, another Microsoft implementation of the ECMA-262 language standard that added support for static typing and classical object-oriented language features such as classes, inheritance, interfaces, and namespaces.

Compatibility with JavaScript[edit]

TypeScript is a strict superset of JavaScript. As such, a JavaScript program is also a valid TypeScript program, and a TypeScript program can seamlessly consume JavaScript. TypeScript compiles to ES3-compatible JavaScript.[12] By default the compiler targets ECMAScript 3, the current prevailing standard, and is also able to generate constructs used in ECMAScript 5.

With TypeScript, it is possible to use existing JavaScript code, incorporate popular JavaScript libraries, and call TypeScript-generated code from other JavaScript.[12] Type declarations for these libraries are provided with the source code.

Type annotations[edit]

TypeScript provides static typing through type annotations to enable type checking at compile time. This is optional and can be ignored to use the regular dynamic typing of JavaScript.

function add(left: number, right: number): number {
	return left + right;
}

The annotations for the primitive types are number, boolean and string. Weakly, or dynamically, typed structures are of type any.

Type annotations can be exported to a separate declarations file to make type information available for TypeScript scripts using types already compiled into JavaScript. Annotations can be declared for an existing JavaScript library, as has been done for Node.js and jQuery.

The TypeScript compiler makes use of type inference to infer types when types are not given. For example, the add method in the code above would be inferred as returning a number even if no return type annotation had been provided. This is based on the static types of left and right being numbers, and the compiler's knowledge that the result of adding two numbers is always a number. However, explicitly declaring the return type allows the compiler to verify correctness.

If no type can be inferred because of lack of declarations then it will default to the dynamic any type. A value of the Any type supports the same operations as a value in JavaScript and minimal static type checking is performed for operations on Any values.[13]

Declaration files[edit]

When a TypeScript script gets compiled there is an option to generate a declaration file (with the extension .d.ts) that functions as an interface to the components in the compiled JavaScript. In the process the compiler strips away all function and method bodies and preserves only the signatures of the types that are exported. The resulting declaration file can then be used to describe the exported virtual TypeScript types of a JavaScript library or module when a third-party developer consumes it from TypeScript.

The concept of declaration files is analogous to the concept of header file found in C/C++.

declare module arithmetics {
    add(left: number, right: number): number;
    subtract(left: number, right: number): number;
    multiply(left: number, right: number): number;
    divide(left: number, right: number): number;
}

Type declaration files can be written by hand for existing JavaScript libraries, as has been done for jQuery and Node.js.

A large collection of declaration files for popular JavaScript libraries is hosted on GitHub by borisyankov in his DefinitelyTyped repository.

Classes[edit]

TypeScript supports ECMAScript 6 classes that integrate the optional type annotations support.

class Person {
    private name: string;
    private age: number;
    private salary: number;
 
    constructor(name: string, age: number, salary: number) {
        this.name = name;
        this.age = age;
        this.salary = salary;
    }
 
    toString(): string {
        return this.name + " (" + this.age + ")" + "(" + this.salary + ")";
    }
}

Generics[edit]

TypeScript supports generic programming.[14]

Modules[edit]

Using modules, TypeScript supports encapsulation of classes, interfaces, functions and variables into namespaces. TypeScript distinguishes between internal and external modules. Internal modules are based on the module syntax of ECMAScript 6, whereas external modules leverage a JavaScript library (AMD or CommonJS).[15]

Development tools[edit]

Compiler[edit]

The TypeScript compiler, named tsc, is written in TypeScript that can be compiled into regular JavaScript that can be executed in any JavaScript engine in any host, such as a browser. The compiler package comes bundled with a script host that can execute the compiler. It is also available as a Node.js package that is using Node.js as a host.

There is also an alpha version of a client-side compiler in JavaScript, which executes TypeScript code on the fly, upon page load.[16]

The current version of the compiler supports ECMAScript 3 by default. An option is allowed to target ECMAScript 5 to make use of language features exclusive to that version. Classes, despite being part of the ECMAScript 6 standard, are available in both modes.

IDE and editor support[edit]

Integration with build automation tools[edit]

Using plug-ins, TypeScript can be integrated with build automation tools, including Grunt (grunt-ts[20]), Apache Maven (TypeScript Maven Plugin[21]) and Gradle (TypeScript Gradle Plugin[22]).

History[edit]

Typescript was first made public in October 2012 (at version 0.8), after two years of internal development at Microsoft.[23][24] Early after the announcement, Miguel de Icaza praised the language itself, but criticized the lack of mature IDE support apart from Microsoft Visual Studio, which is not available on Linux and OS X.[25][26] As of 2013 there is support in other IDEs, particularly in Eclipse; the plug-in for the latter was contributed by Palantir Technologies.[27][28] Various text editors, including Emacs, Vim, and Sublime also support TypeScript.[29]

TypeScript 0.9, released in 2013, added support for generics.[30] TypeScript 1.0 was released at Build 2014.[31] Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 provides built-in support for TypeScript.[32]

In July 2014, the development team announced a new TypeScript compiler, claiming 5x performance gains. Simultaneously, the source code, which was initially hosted on Codeplex, was moved to GitHub.[33]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ TypeScript - Download: TypeScript 0.8.0
  2. ^ Announcing TypeScript 1.3 - TypeScript - Site Home - MSDN Blogs
  3. ^ Microsoft takes the wraps off TypeScript, a superset of JavaScript
  4. ^ TypeScript: JavaScript Development at Application Scale
  5. ^ Microsoft TypeScript: Can the father of C# save us from the tyranny of JavaScript?
  6. ^ Microsoft Augments Javascript for Large-scale Development
  7. ^ Microsoft TypeScript: the JavaScript we need, or a solution looking for a problem?
  8. ^ DefinitelyTyped contains type information for many major libraries.
  9. ^ Anders Hejlsberg (2012-10-05). "What is TypeScript and why with Anders Hejlsberg". www.hanselminutes.com. Retrieved 2014-01-15. 
  10. ^ S. Somasegar (2012-10-01). "TypeScript: JavaScript Development at Application Scale". msdn.com. Retrieved 2013-11-27. 
  11. ^ Klint Finley (2012-10-01). "Microsoft Previews New JavaScript-Like Programming Language TypeScript". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2013-11-27. 
  12. ^ a b Official TypeScript Home Page
  13. ^ TypeScript Language Specification p.24
  14. ^ Jonathan Turner (2013-06-18). "Announcing TypeScript 0.9". msdn.com. Retrieved 2013-11-27. 
  15. ^ Sönke Sothmann (2014-01-31). "An introduction to TypeScript’s module system". blog.oio.de. Retrieved 2014-02-21. 
  16. ^ TypeScript Compile
  17. ^ Olivier Bloch (2012-10-01). "Sublime Text, Vi, Emacs: TypeScript enabled!". Microsoft. Retrieved 2012-10-28. 
  18. ^ "TypeScript support in WebStorm 6". JetBrains. 
  19. ^ "TypeScript support in ReSharper 8.1". JetBrains. 
  20. ^ grunt-ts
  21. ^ TypeScript Maven plugin
  22. ^ TypeScript Gradle plugin
  23. ^ http://www.infoworld.com/d/application-development/microsoft-augments-javascript-large-scale-development-203737
  24. ^ http://blogs.msdn.com/b/typescript/archive/2014/04/02/announcing-typescript-1-0.aspx
  25. ^ Miguel de Icaza (2012-10-01). "TypeScript: First Impressions". Retrieved 2012-10-12. But TypeScript only delivers half of the value in using a strongly typed language to Unix developers: strong typing. Intellisense, code completion and refactoring are tools that are only available to Visual Studio Professional users on Windows. There is no Eclipse, MonoDevelop or Emacs support for any of the language features 
  26. ^ "Microsoft TypeScript: Can the father of C# save us from the tyranny of JavaScript?". ZDNet. 2012-10-01. Retrieved 2012-10-12. And I think this is a pretty big misstep. If you're building web apps that run on anything other than Windows, you're likely using a Mac and most likely not using Visual Studio. You need the Visual Studio plug-in to get the IntelliSense. All you get without Visual Studio is the strong-typing. You don't get the productivity benefits you get from IntelliSense.. 
  27. ^ http://www.heise.de/developer/meldung/TypeScript-Unterstuetzung-fuer-Eclipse-1930408.html
  28. ^ http://marketplace.eclipse.org/content/typescript#.VAmSNvm1bYg
  29. ^ http://www.drdobbs.com/windows/working-with-typescript-in-visual-studio/240154792
  30. ^ http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/06/18/typescript_update_0_9/
  31. ^ http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2014/3-576
  32. ^ http://www.pcworld.com/article/2101920/microsoft-typescript-graduates-to-visual-studio.html
  33. ^ http://blogs.msdn.com/b/typescript/archive/2014/07/21/new-compiler-and-moving-to-github.aspx

External links[edit]