What is TypeScript?

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Have you heard of TypScript, yet? That’s Microsoft’s new JavaScript-like programming language that the company just released a developer preview of a few weeks ago.

TypeScript is translated into good old JavaScript so that apps developed with the language can run in any type of browser, which naturally begs the question, “Why come up with TypeScript to begin with?”

See, while this new language has a similar syntax to JavaScript, it also offers a slew of additional features that you can’t get with JavaScript, including optional static typing, class declarations, a Visual Studio plugin and module support. According to Microsoft, this will make it easier to build larger, more complex applications without straying too wildly from the commonly used JavaScript path.

In fact, Microsoft has been looking forward with this new project, and apparently much of TypeScript is based on the next version of JavaScript that is currently being developed by the ECMA.

Also in an effort to be more forward-thinking, TypeScript is being developed to work with existing frameworks and libraries like Backbone.js, which intend to make it easier for people to create more large-scale applications suited to the Web today. Thus, any JavaScript code should be able to be pasted into TypeScript and work just fine.

TypeScript was developed by Microsoft’s Anders Hajlsberg, along with Steve Lucco and Luke Hoban. The language’s source code has been licensed under Apache 2.0 and now on Codeplex.


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