TypeScript vs. JavaScript: Your Go-to Guide

by Solomon Eseme


Updated Thu Jul 06 2023

TypeScript vs. JavaScript: Your Go-to Guide

JavaScript or TypeScript? This decision is considered by developers for new web applications, but it is also pertinent for current projects. TypeScript, a superset of JavaScript, provides all the functionality of JavaScript plus additional advantages.

TypeScript pushes us to write clean code, which makes the code more scalable. Using TypeScript is not an all-or-nothing option, as projects can contain as much plain JavaScript as desired.

Why was TypeScript Developed Despite Having JavaScript?

The computer programming language JavaScript was first designed to be used on the client-side.

As a result of its application in web development, developers found that JavaScript could also be considered a server-side programming language. This was a discovery made by developers.

However, the JavaScript code eventually becomes pretty convoluted and cumbersome as well.

As a direct consequence of this, it was difficult to easily implement an effective object-oriented programming paradigm.

Most importantly, TypeScripts solves the problem of runtime type checks and validations.

Definition of “Typescript”

An image showing TypeScript logo
The Official TypeScript logo

A practical application will contain numerous validations and dynamic checks. JavaScript code for such apps will eventually become difficult to test, mostly due to the absence of type checking.

When collecting values from consumers, it is essential to collect them at the outset. This is where TypeScript enters the picture.

TypeScript is tightly typed and features a compiler that raises an error if a variable’s type is not specified.

Both JavaScript and TypeScript adhere to the ECMAScript scripting language requirements. Typescript is referred to as the superset of Javascript because it can execute all JavaScript code and support all of its libraries.

What’s the Purpose of Using TypeScript?

Typescript is an object-oriented programming language and a superset of Javascript. The following points will help you realize its necessity:

  • The necessity for Typescript is primarily attributable to JavaScript’s deficiencies.
  • Typescript can be used to create massive apps.
  • The language also provides optional static typing. During compilation, static typing verifies the accuracy of a variable’s type. This feature aids in spotting type problems and resolving them at the time of compilation.
  • As TypeScript code is translated to its corresponding JavaScript code prior to execution, TypeScript programs do not require a specific runtime environment and are portable across several browsers and operating systems, just like JavaScript.

In addition to the functionality of Javascript, Typescript provides extra advantages. All of these factors contribute to Typescript’s popularity among programmers.

Is TypeScript Suitable for the Frontend or Backend?

Due to its compilation into JavaScript, TypeScript is well-suited for use in both the frontend and backend of an app.

JavaScript is also the primary front-end programming language for websites and applications. TypeScript can therefore be used for the same purpose, but it also works well on the server-side for complex and huge enterprise projects.

But you can also use other leading front-end frameworks like React, Angular, and Vue to design next-generation applications.

Pros of Typescript

  1. Big Project

Simply put, it’s easy for a little flaw to get buried in a large codebase when dealing with numerous files and functionalities. TypeScript does an excellent job at catching errors of this nature. A large codebase’s stability can be ensured by using this technique in conjunction with automated software testing (AST).

  1. Complex data

Even the smallest of projects can be challenging. For complex data types (e.g., a database table with a large number of columns). TypeScript makes it easier to keep track of all the different data types involved.

Using TypeScript, the intended inputs and outputs of each function can be documented, making it easier for new developers to join a project that has become complex.

  1. Accessibility

When used for front-end development, TypeScript can assist in identifying typical accessibility mistakes, such as removing alt text on photos, which could be problematic for users.

  1. Error reduction

Errors are simply not tolerated in some enterprises. A bank account, for example, is an example of a sensitive piece of information.

However, even if TypeScript doesn’t completely replace automated testing in some cases, it can help prevent developer errors and account for edge cases that we might otherwise miss out on. ” As a result, bug removal is often beneficial.

Cons of TypeScript

  1. Added complexity

It is not possible for browsers to natively run TypeScript. When developing for the front-end, you’ll likely need a bundler such as Webpack or something similar. If you can get by with simple JavaScript instead, you may not need this extra setup step.

  1. Collaboration

Other developers will need TypeScript experience in order to work together on the project. It’s already familiar to many developers, and it won’t take them long to pick it up.

TypeScript, on the other hand, may make your project less accessible to newer engineers because it makes the code harder to read.

Definition of JavaScript

An image showing JavaScript logo
JavaScript logo

JavaScript is a text-based computer language that can be used on both the client and server-side to generate interactive web pages.

HTML and CSS are programming languages that provide web pages with their structure and appearance, but JavaScript is the language that gives websites user-engaging interactivities.

The search box on Amazon, and embedded news recap video on The New York Times, and reloading your Twitter feed are all examples of common everyday applications of JavaScript.

The inclusion of JavaScript into a website can alter a page from being static to interactive, which in turn can improve the user experience of the website.

Websites gain functionality with the use of JavaScript. A Javascript development company can help you with making a website more easily. 

Typescript vs. Javascript

Aspects TypescriptJavascript
DefinitionIt’s a JavaScript superset meant to make complex project development easier.JavaScript is a programming language that allows the creation of complex websites.
EcosystemThe ecosystem is both intelligent and powerful. ‘Static type idiomatic JavaScript features like union types and discriminating unions are now possible.”The discovery and creation of code are made possible by JavaScript without the need for a build phase.
Data BindingTypeScript employs notions like interfaces and types to define the employed data.This is not available in Javascript.
Learning CurveThe learning curve for TypeScript is steep. In addition, programming skills are required.It’s easy to learn, and it’s a good choice for web programming because it’s so adaptable.
Npm PackagesNumerous npm packages now provide static type definitions or an external one for ease of installation thanks to Typescript.To avoid the need for a build step, JavaScript can be used instead of searching and forming code.
Prototyping SupportTypescript has the ability to prototype.JavaScript doesn’t have this ability.
Annotation and TypingIn order to get the most out of TypeScript’s features, developers need to be annotating their code constantly.JavaScript doesn’t require annotations.
Compiler requiredCompiling TypeScript code is essential.No need to build code in JavaScript.
Client-Side or Server-SideTypeScript is only used on the client-side of the application.JavaScript is utilized on both the server and client sides.
File Extensions Used.tsx and .ts.js

The TypeScript community is smaller than those of other programming languages.JavaScript has an extensive development community.
A table showing the difference between TypeScript and JavaScript

When to Choose JavaScript and TypeScript?

Choose JavaScript when

Stable testing workflow:

Having a JavaScript team that is already using test-driven development is preferable to switching to TypeScript, despite its additional features and expenses.

Small assignments:

JavaScript may turn out to be the best solution for smaller internal projects that are worked on by fewer people.

Build tools needed:

Using JavaScript without the assistance of build tools is a frequent and accepted practice.

Supported framework:

There are some frameworks that don’t work with TypeScript. Web applications can be developed more rapidly and efficiently using current JavaScript tools and frameworks.

Additional dependencies:

For TypeScript, you need the type definitions for the JS libraries you plan on using. An additional npm package has a new type of definition effect.

It is therefore advisable to use a well-liked JavaScript library instead of Typescript because it will be well-supported going forward.

Choose Typescript when

Huge projects, with many developers:

TypeScript is the ideal option if you are working on a large project with multiple developers or if you have a large team of developers collaborating. TypeScript’s access modifiers and the interface can be an added benefit when communicating an API.

Functioning with a new framework or library:

If you are beginning a new React-based project and are unfamiliar with its API, you should use TypeScript because it provides type definitions. You can use IntelliSense to discover and navigate through unique user interfaces.

Favor compile-time type checking;

It is challenging to use pure JavaScript code, particularly if you prefer error checking to take place during the compilation process. TypeScript supports the execution of both runtime type confirmation and validation throughout the compilation process.

Should I learn JavaScript or TypeScript?

If you already have experience with JavaScript, learning TypeScript will not be too difficult for you. Both languages execute exactly the same syntax and behavior.

JavaScript programming language is utilized the most, and as a result, it has a vast community of developers and a lot of available resources. Since the two languages are commonly executed in the same manner, TypeScript programmers are able to make use of these resources much like JavaScript programmers do.

Advantages of using TypeScript over JavaScript 

  • TypeScript always indicates compilation issues during the development process (pre-compilation). This reduces the likelihood of runtime problems, whereas JavaScript is an interpreted language.
  • TypeScript allows strong typing (static typing). This means type correctness can be verified during compilation. This functionality is unavailable in JavaScript.
  • TypeScript is identical to JavaScript with the addition of ES6 capabilities. The TypeScript compiler can .ts files into ES3, ES4, and ES5 as well, even if it is not supported by the target browser.

Why Switch to Typescript for Your Next Project?

When TypeScript first came out, some developers were hesitant to learn how to use its new features.

But over time, many people have grown to like it. TypeScript’s strength doesn’t become clear at the start of a project, but rather as the project goes on.

This language is always changing, and the number of developers is growing. Because of this, there are often new versions of TypeScript.

This makes it easier to start using it, use it every day, and add more powerful features. On the PYPL (Popularity of Programming Language Index), TypeScript really comes in at number ten.

Once a developer has mastered a language, it is clear that they can understand the code and libraries better.

Front-end developers think that auto-completion is the most important and innovative feature.

Back-end developers should find this funny because they’ve known this for a while. But this is one of the best things about TypeScript for developers who work on the front end.

It works as living documentation and lets tools (IDEs) offer appropriate and reliable auto-completion.

Will TypeScript Replace JavaScript?

I would answer NO to the question that came before.

Although it shares many of JavaScript’s core properties, TypeScript stands on its own as a unique entity. As a direct consequence of this, JavaScript is not replaceable.

JavaScript is a client-side and server-side programming language that is widely used in the software development industry. It is also considered an essential language for these roles.

On the other hand, web browsers cannot immediately execute TypeScript code. It is compiled into JavaScript format and runs directly within a web browser.

Wrapping it up

It is entirely up to you whether or not you believe that one language is better than another.

For many developers, JavaScript is the best programming language because of its versatility, extensibility, and vast community. You can use it to create dynamic web apps, mobile apps, or desktop apps for tiny projects with limited resources.

However, TypeScript is a great choice for developers who work with large code bases. An OOP-based and general language, it is a good fit for complicated projects because of its extensive IDE support and Type-checking feature.

It can fill in the gaps in JavaScript’s capabilities for developers. It is up to you to decide which is best for your project, and it should be based on your needs.

You can explore more in the Top 5 TypeScript frameworks to build your next project.

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