Feeds

TypeScript 0.9 arrives with new compiler, support for generics

Biggest update yet for Microsoft's JavaScript alternative

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Microsoft on Tuesday announced TypeScript 0.9.0, the latest version of its JavaScript killer alternative web language, which Redmond describes as the "largest update to TypeScript to date."

In addition to the usual assortment of bug fixes and performance improvements, this release includes a number of significant new language features and introduces a new, more scalable compiler architecture, according to a blog post by TypeScript program manager Jonathan Turner.

"This release marks the first step of the 0.9.x series, introducing most of the new capabilities of this series which will be further refined over the next few months based on your feedback," Turner wrote.

Perhaps the most important language enhancement is the inclusion of generics, which Turner described as the feature most often requested by TypeScript 0.8 users. Generics allow you to declare APIs using placeholders for the data types of arguments and return values, allowing for more code reuse with increased type safety.

Type safety is of course one the most important features of TypeScript, which builds on the loosely typed, prototype-based JavaScript syntax by adding optional strict typing and class-based object orientation.

Because TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript, valid JavaScript code is also valid TypeScript code. TypeScript just provides additional language features to enable what Microsoft terms "application-scale" JavaScript programming.

In addition to generics, TypeScript 0.9 introduces a finalized syntax for enumerated types (enums), the ability to overload methods to return values of various types based on the specific constants they're fed as arguments, and new syntax to better support JavaScript and TypeScript modules.

A number of other relatively minor changes to the syntax have also been made that could break compatibility with code written for earlier versions of TypeScript – you can find a list here.

On top of these changes, the TypeScript compiler has been significantly reengineered to provide "a much higher fidelity implementation" of the TypeScript language specification, and to provide better incremental performance when working in IDEs such as Visual Studio.

TypeScript 0.9 already provides much better performance for code completion, error reporting, type information, and various other IDE features, Turner said. Future versions are expected to continue this trend, with the goal of ensuring that IDEs can still provide good performance with code bases of 100,000 lines or more.

On the downside, command-line compilation with TypeScript 0.9.0 is "somewhat slower" than when using the older compiler, but Turner says he expects this to improve significantly in TypeScript 0.9.1.

Microsoft has already rewritten its type information for the JavaScript API and HTML DOM to use the new TypeScript 0.9 language features, and has updated its documentation and code samples, so that developers can start taking advantage of generics and other improvements immediately after they upgrade.

As with previous versions of TypeScript, Microsoft has released version 0.9 under the Apache 2.0 open source license, and it is available for download from the TypeScript site on CodePlex as of Tuesday. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft WINDOWS 10: Seven ATE Nine. Or Eight did really
Windows NEIN skipped, tech preview due out on Wednesday
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.