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Comparing TypeScript and JavaScript: A Detailed Analysis

Alekh Verma | February 9, 2023
TS vs JS

Over the years, JavaScript has been the most used scripting language for a variety of web development projects. Then what was the need to develop TypeScript? Is TypeScript better than JavaScript? What’s the difference between the two? In this article, we’re going to attempt to answer all these questions and more.

So, what are we waiting for? Let's dive in.

JavaScript

JS-features

What is JavaScript?

JavaScript is an object-oriented, memory-lightweight programming language that is widely used in web development and highly supports cross-platform development. It is mostly used on the client side of a dynamic page. With JavaScript, when a web page loads, the scripts that are contained within it are automatically executed. The script doesn't require any special compilations to execute because it is offered as simple text. JS is relatively quick because of this functionality.

What was the need for JavaScript?

As JavaScript is so prevalent nowadays, it might be hard for developers to function without it. By looking at the fields of application for JavaScript listed below, it is possible to comprehend the necessity for it and its significance of it.

The introduction of JavaScript opens the door to a completely new realm of interactive web pages. We are all aware that static material is shown on pages using HTML, and that web page customization is accomplished using CSS. However, JavaScript contributes to the interactive nature of these pages.

Here are some ways in which JavaScript contributes to the development of a web page-

  • With JavaScript, user input may be accepted and verified.
  • Again, JavaScript can be used to display features like animations or dynamic content on a website.
  • Using JavaScript also makes it possible to employ other features like hover interactivity and drop-down menus.

History of JavaScript

Brendan Eich of Netscape Communications Corporation introduced JavaScript in September 1995 under the name Moncha. JavaScript, which further supports Java in browsers, was introduced to the European Computer Manufacturers Association (ECMA) by Netscape in 1996 as the best scripting tool.

Features of JavaScript

JavaScript has the following features:

  • Slow reloading- Any client-side modifications performed by developers are immediately referenced by JS. The developer won't have to wait too long as a result.
  • Communication- Because an interface is designed to react when a mouse hovers over it, it provides the optimal user experience (UX).
  • Very good for interacting with a server- Before delivering the page to the server, it offers an option for user input validation.
  • Functions for Date and Time- Any user in a certain region can receive personalized messages, such as a greeting that includes the time and date in their local time zone.

How to Use JavaScript?

Developers have two options for integrating JavaScript into HTML pages:

  • placing all of the JS code in the HTML source file.
  • creating a unique JS file, then invoking that file from inside an HTML element.  

Why Use JavaScript?

JavaScript is very popular as it can be used in both web apps and browsers. Beyond the web, it can be used more extensively in servers, software, and hardware controllers. The fundamental characteristics determining JavaScript's use are as follows:

  • Interactive and Fun Language - You can use its extensive user interface. JavaScript features an interactive and simple-to-use graphical user interface. The user can develop code that works in the browser with ease. In this way, enjoyable learning projects can be built quickly.
  • Low Entry Barrier — This programming language is simple to understand and use at first, and it is used by browsers. Therefore, there is no need to install any additional apps before beginning.
  • Higher Debugging Tools - The web browser comes with a JavaScript interpreter built in. Additionally, it enables you to search for and receive useful feedback, which speeds up your learning
  • The foundation for learning programming styles- JavaScript supports event-driven program design, which organizes the movement of your code in response to user or system events. The ability to program in this manner is necessary when creating user interfaces. It is also a very collaborative approach for planning scalable server-side solutions.
  • Strong Learning Support – Each browser has a source code that includes tools that let users learn from the live coding of others. The JavaScript ecosystem also offers a dynamic store of library code. The JavaScript community is active in exchanging codes and has helpful members.
  • Rich user interfaces - JavaScript is fantastic for adding sliders or drag-and-drop components, giving your website visitors a pleasant interface. 

TypeScript

TS-features

What is TypeScript?

Typescript is an open-source, object-oriented scripting language, just like JavaScript. It is one of the supersets of JavaScript that can effortlessly compile to JavaScript with no issues. Running TS through a browser is very different, though. For a JavaScript file to run in the browser, it must first be compiled. However, any device can execute Typescript files, which have the ".ts" extension.

What was the need for TypeScript?

As we've already mentioned, TypeScript is an object-oriented programming language that’s a superset of JavaScript. It has been created to fulfill the inadequacies of JavaScript. Here are some of the reasons why there emerged a need for TypeScript-

  • Large apps can be developed using Typescript.
  • Additionally, optional static typing for the language is supported. Static typing is a feature that verifies a variable type's accuracy during compilation. With the use of this technology, Type problems can be found and fixed right away during compilation.
  • As TypeScript code is transformed into its equivalent JavaScript code before execution, TypeScript applications are portable across different browsers and operating systems and do not need a specialized runtime environment, like JavaScript.

So, in addition to JavaScript's characteristics, Typescript also has many additional advantages. Because of all these factors, Typescript is well-liked among programmers.

History of TypeScript

Under the terms of the Apache 2 license, Typescript was created and is still supported by Microsoft. It was created by Andres Hejlsberg, a programmer, and made available for usage in October 2012.

Microsoft released TypeScript 0.9, a new version of the language, in 2013.

TypeScript 3.4.5, which was released in April 2019, is the most recent stable version.  

Features of TypeScript

To learn Typescript, you must first be familiar with JavaScript. The fundamental building elements of a program's structure come from JavaScript. Code written in TypeScript must first be converted to JavaScript before it can be executed because it comes after JavaScript.

  • Portable Typescript works flawlessly in all settings, including browsers, just like JavaScript does. A specialized virtual machine or defined run-time environment is not required for the execution of Typescript code.  
  • Transpiler- Error-checking is provided through the Typescript feature of transpiling. By just running the script through a compiler, the developer may examine the real script for any mistakes.
  • Checking for typos- In Typescript, static type checking is meant to be performed at compile time. There is no need to wait until execution before making modifications because you can see the problems when you are writing the code.
  • DOM administration- The DOM can be expanded and contracted with the help of typescript.

How to Use TypeScript?

Typescript code is contained in files that end in ".ts."

Before converting it to JavaScript, a programmer can create the code in Typescript in a straightforward editor like notepad. The HTML source code is then added, enabling it to be used with any browser.

Why Use TypeScript?

There are several factors that define what TypeScript is used for:

  • JavaScript is a robustly built general-purpose programming language with static typing. Until a variable is unavoidably created at runtime, its type is unknown. Additionally, TypeScript adds a trait and gives JavaScript-type support.
  • Adding ECMAScript Features - TypeScript assists in transpiling innovative ECMAScript standards to the desired ECMAScript aims. Additionally, you can make use of various ES2015 capabilities. Additionally, it is more akin to modules, spread operators, classes, lambdas, restructuring, etc.
  • Better IDE support: TypeScript uses a development methodology that is superior to JavaScript. You can get strong Typescript support with a variety of IDEs, such as Visual Studio, Atom, Sublime, IntelliJ, or VS Code.
  • Type Inference - Typing in TypeScript looks simply and the type of inference technique makes things less evident. Therefore, if you choose to not type the types, you will discover that doing so will prevent you from taking actions that may cause a runtime error.
  • Interoperability - TypeScript links JavaScript and exhibits excellent interoperability skills. However, using JavaScript libraries with TypeScript requires a little more effort.
  • Strict Null Examination - Common JavaScript programming issues include the inability to read property 'x' of undefined. These errors can be removed since a variable that is unknown to the TypeScript compiler cannot be used.

Differences Between JavaScript and TypeScript

Let's compare both using several criteria:

 CriteriaTypeScriptJavaScript
1.TypeInterpreted high-level programming language.A strong feature-rich object-oriented compilation language.
2.Design & DevelopmentFounded by Anders Hejlsberg, a programmer at Microsoft.Founded by Brendan Eich of Netscape Communications Corporation, ECMA International.
3.Lightweight/HeavyweightA very lightweight interpreted programming language.A little heavier than Typescript and created for building business applications.
4.Server-side/Client-sideSolely on the client-side deployed.Deployed on the server-side and client-side.
5.File Extension.ts and .tsx.js
6.SyntaxIncludes modules, functions, statements, expressions, and variables.Every sentence is enclosed with a script tag, which instructs the client to carry out all of the text in between the tags.
7.AnnotationsThe developer must constantly annotate TypeScript code to make the most of its features.In JavaScript, annotations are not required.
8.Compilation TimeCompiling code requires time.Compiling code is quicker.
9.InterfaceThrough its interface, users can connect to applications.No means of connecting to another application interface.

What are the instances when either of the languages can be used?

Typescript

  1. When type checking at build time is preferred.

Runtime verification is achievable with vanilla JavaScript. However, this method adds run-time overheads. To prevent these, we employ compile-time checking.

  1. Whenever you first begin coding with a new library or framework.

If you've decided to utilize React for your new project but aren't quite comfortable with its API, you may use IntelliSense, a type of definition they provide, to guide you and help you find new interfaces.

  1. Cooperating with other developers on important projects.

Typescript makes sense when numerous developers are working together on a single project. When many APIs can communicate with each other utilizing Typescript's interfaces and access modifiers, it becomes quite useful.

JavaScript

  1. Build tools are needed.

Unlike Typescript, which necessitates a build step before producing the final JavaScript for execution, it has become nearly difficult to design JavaScript apps without building tools.

  1. Modest initiatives.

The smallest projects with the smallest possible code surface area are best suited for JavaScript.

  1. Effective testing procedures.

If you already have a trustworthy JavaScript team using test-driven development, switching to Typescript could feel risky.

  1. Dependencies added.

To use TS's libraries, you must possess their type definitions. A new npm package results from an additional type of definition. By using additional packages, you demonstrate that you are aware of the dangers of using outdated or inaccurate packages.

You will lose out on many of Typescript's advantages if you choose not to import the type definitions. Typed projects do exist, nevertheless, to lessen these hazards. A popular library suggests a better likelihood of being preserved for longer stretches of time.

  1. Unsupported structure.

When you use a framework that does not support TS, like EmberJS, you are constrained and lose out on the advantages of using TS. 

Head-to-Head Comparison Between JavaScript and TypeScript

JavaScriptTypeScript
A language for writing scripts that create dynamic web pages.A JavaScript superset for collaborating on large-scale coding projects.
Run-time error detection is achievable in interpreted languages.Compilations allow for the discovery and correction of errors.
There is no static typing option, weak typing.Supports strongly typed, dynamic, and static typing.
Utilized straight on browsers.JavaScript is converted before being used on browsers.
Libraries for JS operate by default.Since JS is a superset, all libraries and code function without modification.
Supports none of the ES features being compiled.All ES features are supported by TS.
Modules, generics, and interfaces are not supported.Supports modules, generics, and the data definition interface.
There is no option for functions to have optional parameters.Optional parameters are possible for functions.
Strings and numbers are categorized as objects.Strings and numbers are regarded as interfaces.
Due to its organized and clear layout, it primarily fits simple web applications.A robust and logical language.
Backed by widespread community support, extensive documentation, and assistance in locating solutions to problems.The community surrounding this language is still growing and not very large.
It doesn't permit the creation of prototypes.Support structures for prototypes.
There is no requirement for a primary scripting language, and learning is quick and easy.Learning to code requires time and prerequisite knowledge of scripting.
There is no need for a build setup.A suitable build environment must be used to define static types.

TypeScript or JavaScript? Which is superior?

  • Being a superset of JavaScript is TypeScript's primary advantage over JavaScript. Therefore, unlike JS, which is utilized for smaller programs, TS was created to simplify massive projects.
  • TypeScript can be used to create apps that operate on both the server and client-side, while JavaScript is intended to enhance the design and interactivity of web pages, typically on the client-side. It creates programs that are translated into JavaScript before use.
  • A cost advantage exists for JavaScript. For writing code, no special tools are needed. You only need a notepad to get started. It is interpreted inside a web browser, thus not even a compiler is needed. On the other hand, Typescript necessitates the use of Eclipse via a plugin and an expensive IDE, Visual Studio 2013 Second Update.
  • JavaScript lacks some crucial features, like the ability to read and modify files, which prevents it from being utilized as a full-fledged programming language. Strongly typed object-oriented compilation language Typescript comes with a number of utilities.
  • All JavaScript libraries, tools, and frameworks can be reused with Typescript.
  • Network applications cannot be supported by JavaScript.
  • Similar to how C++ header files can explain the structure of existing object files, Typescript support definition files are used to store any data regarding JavaScript libraries that are already in existence. Therefore, values defined in files can be used by other programs.
  • Typescript is used to create the Typescript compiler, which converts Typescript files to JavaScript.

We can conclude that JavaScript is very well suited for quick coding tasks. Typescript would be the best option for huge projects that require teamwork and participation.

Conclusion

All things considered, each language has its strengths, weaknesses, and limitations. For the creation of dynamic HTML web pages, JS is employed. Given that it is an interpreted language, it is delivered through a web browser.

Because TypeScript is compiled into JavaScript, it may be used for JavaScript scripts, increasing its popularity and usefulness. Every time Typescript is updated, fresh and better capabilities are added, making it a wonderful choice for any seasoned developer.

Alekh Verma

CEO and Founder at eSearch Logix Technologies!

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