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TypeScript vs. JavaScript: Should You Migrate Your JavaScript Coding Project to TypeScript?

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TypeScript vs. JavaScript: Should You Migrate Your JavaScript Coding Project to TypeScript?

JavaScript has been the king of the internet for a while now. But a superset language of JS, TypeScript, is quickly catching up. Which should you use?

· Web Dev Zone
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TypeScript and JavaScript are two widely known languages in the development world, but what are the differences and what use cases are better suited for one over the other? In this post, we'll compare the two languages, how they relate to one another, discuss their primary differences, and outline the benefits of each.

Defining TypeScript and JavaScript

JavaScript is a scripting language that allows web pages to be interactive. It is an example of client-side programming - which means it runs in the user's web browser without requiring resources from the web server. It is used to perform dynamic tasks such as quizzes or polls and can be used with other technologies such as XML, REST APIs, and more.

TypeScript is an object-oriented programming language developed and maintained by Microsoft. It is a superset of JavaScript and contains all of its elements.

Primary Differences

TypeScript uses all the code found in JavaScript with other coding concepts such as classes, modules, interfaces, and types. It was created to make JavaScript development easier.

For example, TypeScript uses concepts such as types and interfaces to describe data being used. This allows developers to quickly detect errors and debug applications. Additional features include:

  • Optional parameter feature.
  • Rest Parameter feature.
  • Generics support.
  • Modules support.

Because it is a programming language, a compiler is used to convert to JavaScript so it can run on web pages.

Benefits of TypeScript

The benefits of TypeScript arise from its additional features and apply mostly to teams of collaborating developers who are working on large coding projects. Here are a few notable benefits:

1. Static Typing

Static typing is a feature that detects bugs as developers write the scripts, and finding and fixing bugs is a pressing need for today's DevOps teams. This allows developers to write more robust code and maintain it, resulting in better, cleaner code.

2. Better for Large Coding Projects

Sometimes to improve a coding project, small, incremental changes need to be made to the code base. These small changes could have significant, unintended consequences, making it necessary to undo the changes. Refactoring with TypeScript tools is easier and faster.

3. Better for Collaboration

When large coding projects have many developers, the opportunity for messy coding and errors increases. Type safety is a feature that detects errors during coding, not when the project is compiled. This creates a more efficient coding and debugging process.

4. Better Productivity

Factors such as clean ECMAScript 6 code, auto-completion, and dynamic typing help boost developers' productivity. Those are features that also help the compilers to create optimized code.

Benefits of JavaScript

There are some distinct advantages to using JavaScript to consider, as well.

1. Popularity

The JavaScript community of developers still is huge and active, which can make it easier to find people willing to develop projects and share their coding expertise.

2. There Is a Learning Curve

There still are enough differences between the two to create a learning curve, so some developers stick with the scripting language they know well rather than learn TypeScript.

3. Native Browser Support

TypeScript code needs to be compiled (and the output is JavaScript code), creating an extra step.

4. No Annotations Required

To make the most out of TypeScript features, developers need to constantly annotate their code. This could make the project less efficient.

5. Flexibility

Some developers prefer the flexibility of JavaScript. Others, however, prefer the less-flexible TypeScript as its compiler produces cleaner code.

The Bottom Line: What to Choose and When

TypeScript is becoming a tool for organizations that want to develop large coding projects. The structure of the object-oriented programming language keeps the code clean, consistent, and simple to debug.

If an experienced developer is working solo on relatively small coding projects, it may not seem necessary to work with TypeScript - however, if they want to work with a team using it, knowledge and expertise in the programming language is obviously a must. In fact, many DevOps teams look for candidates with programming skills in a variety of languages.

Additional Resources and Tutorials

The relationship between the popular scripting language and its object-oriented programming language subset are important to note depending on the size of your project and the size of your team. If you need to boost productivity and write cleaner code, learning TypeScript is well worth your time.

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Topics:
web dev ,javascript ,typescript

Published at DZone with permission of Angela Stringfellow, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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