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TypeScript: Microsoft's Replacement For JavaScript 488

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-code-on-the-block dept.
mikejuk writes "Everyone seems to have a replacement for JavaScript — Google even has two. Now Microsoft has revealed that Anders Hejlsberg, the father of C# among other languages, has been working on a replacement and it has released a preview of TypeScript. The good news is that it is compatible with JavaScript — you can simply load JavaScript code and run it. JavaScript programs are TypeScript programs. To improve on JavaScript, TypeScript lets you include annotations that allow the compiler to understand what objects and functions support. The annotations are removed by the compiler, making it a zero overhead facility. It also adds a full class construct to make it more like traditional object oriented languages. Not every JavaScript programmer will be pleased about the shift in emphasis, but the way it compiles to a JavaScript constructor is fairly transparent. At this early stage it is difficult to see the development as good. It isn't particularly good for JavaScript developers who already have alternatives, and it isn't good for C# developers who now have confirmation that Ander Hejlsberg is looking elsewhere for his future." Update: 10/01 20:34 GMT by U L : It's also freely available under under the Apache 2.0 license, and there's a language specification available. It looks pretty interesting: it even has ML-style type inference (including e.g. deducing the types of higher order functions).
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TypeScript: Microsoft's Replacement For JavaScript

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  • by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Monday October 01, 2012 @05:38PM (#41518565) Journal

    Dart, obviously. But what is the other one? Anyone know what the article writer was talking about?

  • by neminem (561346) <`neminem' `at' `gmail.com'> on Monday October 01, 2012 @05:50PM (#41518687) Homepage

    Obligatory: http://xkcd.com/927/ [xkcd.com]

    Note: please do not mod this post up. Yes, it is completely relevant, and funny, but I can't take credit for it. :p (On the other hand, I request it not get modded down just because you don't like xkcd, either. Relatedly, why the frell don't you?)

  • by catbutt (469582) on Monday October 01, 2012 @05:55PM (#41518745)
    ...theirs seems like the right approach. It is certainly a better one than Dart. They've gone out of their way to be as compatible as possible, and really are making it practical for people to adopt the upcoming standards earlier. I really don't see what about this to get so up in arms about. Javascript does need improvements, and this is the best approach to that I've seen so far.
  • by Hentes (2461350) on Monday October 01, 2012 @07:58PM (#41519991)

    Javascript works well for what it was intended to do: adding dynamic functionality to webpages. It only has problems when it's used for something it was not intended to do like building web-based applications or the Flash-like animations of HTML5. These are very different use cases, and I don't think one language to cover them all is a good idea. Developing new languages for the new web technologies is the way to go.

  • by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Monday October 01, 2012 @08:30PM (#41520233)

    > Now Microsofties could complain that the open source proponents are whining unfairly about this and it is resticting their, "Freedom to innovate". To that I say simply this, "How about you instead spend the effort on making your browser work like everyone else's?"

    Agreed!

    So, Microsoft, when is IE (Internet Explorer) going to support WebGL, like every browser does?

  • by devent (1627873) on Monday October 01, 2012 @08:49PM (#41520413) Homepage

    So can we finally have a specification that is not bound to a specific implementation? Why in all what is good and holy, do we need the limitation of JavaScript? Just make a byte-language specification, just like the CLR or Java Byte-Code for the DOM stuff.

    Then everyone are free to use Python, Ruby, Java or what else as a language, the browser needs only to interpret the Byte-Code that the language-compiler is producing (just like with Java and javac, where you can use any language you like to produce the Java byte-code).

    If you are really worried about open source, then answer me this: What is the difference between this [jquery.com] and byte-code? There is none, because both are not human-readable. So why not just to agree to a byte-code that interfaces the DOM and html5 and then we can use any language we like to generate the byte-code?

    Wouldn't it be nice to fire up your favorite IDE or editor and just write Python or Ruby (or insert here your favorite language) for your web-page? But no, we just have to use JavaScript until the end of the universe.

    PS: most browsers are compiling JavaScript to a byte-language anyway nowadays, because then they can optimize the byte-code so JS will run faster.

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