Understanding Typescript

Let’s start by discussing javascript a bit. Javascript is currently a must know programming language in the computer science world. It is widely used for web development on both front-end and back-end development. Javascript can also be found in many other fields of development including mobile apps, desktop apps, and game development. 

Javascript language is quite user friendly and can even be considered easy to learn but it doesn’t come without its concerns of course. The same code you’ve written may work differently when used in different browsers such as Google Chrome versus explorer, or safari, for example. Javascript is also very stripped down so it can be easy to create errors by mistake especially for beginners. An example of this is that Javascript is dynamically typed. Programs don’t know the types of variables until they are assigned at runtime and then they must do an awful lot of referencing to figure out the type depending on the size of the program. Since types are not required there are no compiling errors or messages to tell you what you are doing wrong. It leaves a hard traced error if or not careful when working with your code. 

Now moving on to Typescript!

Typescript is a superset of Javascript which means it contains all the same functionality of Javascript as well as added features. Typescript compiles to plain Javascript so any code you write in Javascript will run just fine in Typescript, as long as you have written it correctly of course. The big additions of Typescript are type annotations, interfaces, and classes. 

As opposed to Javascript, which is dynamically typed, Typescript uses static typing. Static typing means that things like variable types can be checked at compile time since variable annotations are available. The code will still run if you have an error but you will receive a message warning you about the specific error that was detected. Also depending on your IDE it may offer the function of displaying errors to the user while they are typing. If you want to take advantage of this functionality then you can check out the Visual Studio Code IDE, which contains that function.

I chose to blog about this subject because I am a newcomer to this language and material. I figured if I did some research on my own and actually typed out the words then it would all become more clear to me what the relationship of Typescript was to Javascript and what they are used for in the real world. I feel now that I have this general overview and understanding of the language and its use that I can now conceptualize my own uses for it. I’m looking forward to implementing what I have learned about Typescript into my own projects.

Lease, Diana. “TypeScript: What Is It & When Is It Useful?” Medium, Frontend Weekly, 31 Jan. 2018, medium.com/front-end-weekly/typescript-what-is-it-when-is-it-useful-c4c41b5c4ae7.

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