Today, JavaScript and TypeScript are among the most popular languages in the world of development.

typescript vs javascript main

While both of these programming languages are mostly used for web application development, but lately the TypeScript has gained rapid traction ever since RxJS and Angular started adopting it.

So, does this mean you should migrate your web app from JavaScript to TypeScript?

Reading this blog will definitely answer that question.

What is JavaScript?

In most simplest terms, JavaScript is basically a scripting language that allows you to create interactive web pages.

It is a client-side programming language which doesn’t need any resources from the web server.

The main idea behind developing this language was to make a complementary scripting language, just like Microsoft has Visual Basic to C++.

Today, you can use JavaScript with many different technologies such as XML, REST APIs, and more.

However, JavaScript was not designed to build complex applications.

History of JavaScript

JavaScript was created by Brendan Eich, a NetScape Communications Corporation programmer, which was initially meant to work as Netscape navigator.

But, soon it became a popular scripting tool and was later renamed as JavaScript for reflecting NetScape’s support of Java in its web browser.

Below, we’ve mentioned a few important landmarks of JavaScript since its foundation.

  • JavaScript was launched in September 1995 and it was initially called Mocha. It took only 10 days to develop the first scripting language.
  • After JavaScript became popular, NetScape submitted it to ECMA (European Computer Manufacturers Association) in November 1996.
  • In 1998 & 1999, ECMAScript 2 and ECMAScript 3 was released respectively.
  • In 2005, Mozilla and Eich partnered together to develop E4X JavaScript.
  • In 2009, the CommonJS project was created for driving the language towards ECMAScript 6.
  • In 2016, 92% of all websites on Internet use JavaScript, including Facebook & Google.

What is TypeScript?

Simply put, TypeScript is a modern-age, statically compiled JavaScript language for writing simpler and clear code.

TypeScript can run on any browser that supports ECMAScript 3 or new versions, including Node JS.

In other terms, adopting TypeScript into a JavaScript development project can help you build more robust application through its static typing, classes, and interface.

In a nutshell, TypeScript is designed to develop large-scale applications that can be trans-compiled to JavaScript.

typescript vs javascript cta1

History of TypeScript

TypeScript was created by Microsoft as an open-source programming language with optional static typing.

TypeScript is basically a superset of JavaScript, and it can be used to build JavaScript applications for server-side as well as client-side execution.

Below, we’ve mentioned a few important landmarks of JavaScript since its foundation.

  • TypeScript was released for public in October 2012 as version 0.8.
    Version 0.9 was released in 2013.
  • Microsoft then added support for generics and released TypeScript 1.0 at Microsoft’s build developer conference 2014.
  • In July 2014, TypeScript development team at Microsoft released a new TypeScript compiler, claiming 5 times more performance.
  • In September 2016, Microsoft released TypeScript 2.0 that comprised several new features, including the feature of optionally preventing variables from being assigned null values.
  • In March 2018, conditional types were added in the TypeScript.

Benefits of JavaScript

JavaScript became popular due to below-mentioned benefits.

Flexibility

JavaScript is widely flexible, which is why some developers still prefer JavaScript over TypeScript.

Native browser support

JavaScript code is compiled directly into machine language, while TypeScript produces JavaScript after compilation, adding an extra step.

No annotations required

TypeScript makes the project less efficient because it requires developers to constantly annotate their code. JavaScript, however, doesn’t.

Easy learning curve

JavaScript is definitely easier to learn which is why many JavaScript developers still prefer to use JavaScript that they already know, rather than learn TypeScript.

Huge community

The JavaScript community is huge, growing, and active. That means, it’s easier to find developers who are willing to help in developing projects and share their expertise.

Benefits of TypeScript

Like mentioned in the beginning, TypeScript is gaining traction rapidly. And the main reason behind that is its benefits from additional features. Following are the best benefits of TypeScript.

Static typing

In TypeScript, the static typing feature helps to detect bugs while writing the scripts.

This helps developers in writing more robust code and maintain it, which results into a lot better and cleaner code compared to JavaScript.

Type annotations

One of the main objective of TypeScript is to statically identify constructs which are possibly errors.

This basically allows developers to make safe assumptions about state while in execution.

To understand better, take a look at below example.

typescript vs javascript javaScript code type annotations typescript benefits

In above block of JavaScript code, there is nothing to prevent the script from calling get password () with invalid parameters. This create a silent-error during runtime.

But, this can be easily avoided in compile time if you use TypeScript Annotations shown in below example.

typescript vs javascript typescript code type annotations typeScript benefits

As you can see, the above code will prevent operations from executing if the object type is unexpected.

Better for collaboration

Large-scale applications usually have more developers working on its development. This creates an opportunity to create mess and increase coding errors.

However, the type safety feature in TypeScript helps to find code errors and bugs while writing the code and not during compilation, which results into more efficient debugging process and better collaboration opportunity.

API documentation

In JavaScript, you can access library’s own documentation with tools like Dash. But, it just cannot match the experience offered by TypeScript.

Take Fetch API for example. The below given image shows how developers can explore the API using the VSCode Peek feature.

These type of tools help developers go beyond what is available via jsdocs and classic JavaScript.

typescript vs javascript

Perfect for large-scale application development

Most large-scale projects require small and incremental changes to its code base.

And these changes must be done carefully otherwise it creates significant & unintended consequences.

TypeScript refactoring tools helps in avoiding such situations by providing an option to undo the changes, making the development process a lot easier and faster.

Enhanced productivity

TypeScript has in-built features like auto-compilation, ECMAScript 6 code support, and dynamic typing that helps compiler in creating highly-optimized code and boosting developers’ productivity.

When to opt for javaScript

Small project

TypeScript can be overkill for small projects or development teams. Therefore, JavaScript can be ideal choice for small projects development.

Build tools required

TypeScript requires adding a build step compulsory in order to execute the JavaScript.

But, today it is also rare that developers not using build tools of any kind for JavaScript application development.

Strong test workflow

If you already have a strong JavaScript team that you can count on and that can implement test-driven development in your project, then using TypeScript is not worth the cost.

Added dependencies

If your project involves using libraries, then TypeScript will need their type definitions. And every type definition will add an extra npm package.

The point is, depending on these dependencies will just add the risk of these packages going un-maintained or become incorrect in future.

Simply put, if you need to import type dependencies in your application development, then you would lose the TypeScript advantage.

Therefore, it’s better to go with JavaScript for projects that require type dependencies.

Advantages of using typeScript over javaScript

JavaScript has, without any doubt, shaped the modern web. But, when you build an enterprise level application or product, JavaScript loses its structure and discipline.

This is where TypeScript can come to rescue. TypeScript allows dynamic approach and also provide proper structure through its type checking feature.

That’s not it! – TypeScript has many more advantages over JavaScript.

Create big applications

If you’re creating an enterprise-level application or product in which structure to the system is required, then TypeScript is recommended.

The Reason is, TypeScript makes it easy to develop and maintain the project with fewer bugs.

On the other hand, if you choose to develop a big application using JavaScript, then following blunders are bound to happen:

  • No availability of new JavaScript API’s in cross platforms as well as browsers.
  • There will be a lack of Object Oriented Programming
  • No base structure of the project
  • Lastly, no inherent type hinting/type casting.

Type hinting/type casting

Unlike JavaScript, TypeScript uses Type Casting and Type Hinting for giving a certain number to a variable.

Once a number is assigned, TypeScript then shows the error while writing the coding so that developers can resolve it before deploying the final code.

Targets multiple browsers

If you’re building an application that attempts to use all features of JavaScript and targets multiple browsers, you don’t need to use different building tools like webpack or Gulp.

TypeScript allows you to write the code once and specify right then and then which browser to target. In short, TypeScript takes care of the behind the scenes.

Tech giants are already using TypeScript…are you?!

Google’s Angular, for example, the one that changed the modern front-end development forever with its two-way data binding, now uses TypeScript as a primary build block.

Not only Angular, but the Ionic, a popular hybrid mobile app development framework, also uses TypeScript rather than JavaScript to offer better weapons for modern mobile development

The point is, there are many other frameworks, other than Angular and Ionic, which provide TypeScript as an language option.

Vue JS and React JS are two most popular frameworks that also have TypeScript available for robust application development.

This leads us to ask you the most important question! – have you adopted TypeScript in your application? If you’re still unsure, get in touch with us with any questions you have.

whats new in angular cta1 min