Introduction to TypeScript

TypeScript is an open-source programming language developed and maintained by Microsoft. It is a strict syntactical superset of JavaScript, and adds optional static typing to the language.

TypeScript is designed for development of large applications and transcompiles to JavaScript. As TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript, existing JavaScript programs are also valid TypeScript programs. TypeScript may be used to develop JavaScript applications for both client-side and server-side (Node.js) execution.

There are multiple options available for transcompilation. Either the default TypeScript Checker can be used, or the Babel compiler can be invoked to convert TypeScript to JavaScript.

TypeScript supports definition files that can contain type information of existing JavaScript libraries, much like C++ header files can describe the structure of existing object files. This enables other programs to use the values defined in the files as if they were statically typed TypeScript entities. There are third-party header files for popular libraries such as jQuery, MongoDB, and D3.js. TypeScript headers for the Node.js basic modules are also available, allowing development of Node.js programs within TypeScript.

The TypeScript compiler is itself written in TypeScript and compiled to JavaScript. It is licensed under the Apache 2.0 License.

TypeScript is included as a first-class programming language in Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 and later, beside C# and other Microsoft languages. An official extension allows Visual Studio 2012 to support TypeScript as well.

Anders Hejlsberg, lead architect of C# and creator of Delphi and Turbo Pascal, has worked on the development of TypeScript.

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

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 was a preview of what to expect of ECMAScript 2015. 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.

TypeScript is a strict superset of ECMAScript 2015, which is itself a superset of ECMAScript 5, commonly referred to as JavaScript. As such, a JavaScript program is also a valid TypeScript program, and a TypeScript program can seamlessly consume JavaScript. By default the compiler targets ECMAScript 5, the current prevailing standard, but is also able to generate constructs used in ECMAScript 3 or 2015.

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

TypeScript distinguishes between modules and namespaces. Both features in TypeScript support encapsulation of classes, interfaces, functions and variables into containers. Namespaces (formerly internal modules) utilize immediately-invoked function expression of JavaScript to encapsulate code, whereas modules (formerly external modules) leverage JavaScript library patterns to do so (AMD or CommonJS).

The above is a brief about TypeScript. Watch this space for more updates on the latest trends in Technology

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