Welcome #TypeScript – a.k.a. the Future is JavaScript


Disclaimer: It’s 4 am in the morning, and I have to get this out of my system. Apologies if I sound like I am rambling.

[Update October 2, 2012: If you want a ‘no-rumor’ Introduction to TypeScript head over to my post on www.devcurry.com]

What is TypeScript?

A few hours ago Anders Hejlsberg the father of C# and Microsoft Fellow launched to the world, via a Channel9 Video his latest baby – TypeScript, a type conformant superset of JavaScript that compiles down to JavaScript as of now. Nearly simultaneously Microsoft Developer Division’s head honcho Somasegar announced it on his blog as well. The site www.typescriptlang.org went live too.

Initial Reaction

My first initial reaction was knee-jerk and ‘why another Dart’ and ‘this is Java all over again’. Lots of .NET devs had the same reaction (refer to the first comment on the thread in the Channel 9 video) Smile.

After I watched the entire video, I would be lying if I said I don’t like TypeScript. As much as I hate to learn new syntax again, the pervasiveness of JavaScript has hit me over the last few years and grudgingly (at first, and out of a a necessity now) I have adopted JavaScript (rather JS Frameworks) as essential additions to my web development toolkit.

Good parts about TypeScript are

1. Follows the developing ECMAScript6 standard proposal and is going to keep updating itself till the proposal is adopted.

2. Will emit JavaScript making it truly write-once run anywhere.

3. Superb tooling support.

[Update]

4. How can I forget, it’s open source and code is on the next hippest thing to GitHub (Git on Codeplex).

[/Update]

Something like TypeScript is heaven sent for C# junkies like me. So in short am I interested in TypeScript? Hell yeah!

Conspiracy Theories

What’s Microsoft without a few conspiracy theories? My favorite MS gossip source is @MossyBlog from www.riagenic.com. Sometime ago he tweeted that MS is planning to kill .NET. No one took him seriously. But now let me conspire and cook up a few theories of my own, with tongue firmly planted in cheek here I go:

1. TypeScript is DevDiv’s revenge for killing of Silverlight. Silverlight was killed in Win8 in favor of JavaScript and HTML5 and WinJS was cooked up hastily. TypeScript is the comeback kid. It’s JavaScript, it works with the HTML5 story and as per Soma you can build Win8 apps using it. Woo hoo! Strike 1 DevDiv.

2. TypeScript is open source! BAM! Take that WinDiv! Strike 2 DevDiv.

2. Embrace evolution of .NET: Developers all over the world will have to embrace the evolution of .NET. In other words, soon there will be only C, C++, Assembly at low level and JavaScript at high level. Everything else will be JavaScript emitter. So by next release of Windows you will probably having a C# compiler that emits JavaScript (ECMAScript 6).

3. I will go out on a limb and say, the Windows Desktop as we know today is in it’s last iteration. Next version of Windows will boot to a ‘desktop replacement’ that runs on the IE engine. WinJS Apps already do this today. Tomorrow everything will be JS. Boot to the web! In your face ChromeBooks!

4. Don’t hate on the phrase ‘Application Scale’ it only means applications as rich as Silverlight/XAML and WinForms. Now for the biggest JavaScript fan will also admit that JavaScript wasn’t the best for these things.

5. TypeScript might just be the convergence point of DevDiv and WinDiv where they call a truce and live happily hereafter Winking smile.

Signing off

As someone who skipped the XAML/Silverlight bus, I never really got worked up with the so called death of Silverlight or WPF. Only now I have started using XAML and I say good riddance. WinRT may not be perfect, but a fresh start is fine.

But the nagging question for millions of Silverlight folks around the globe, why did MS have to kill SL, well they didn’t, they were busy building TypeScript, an eventual successor for it!

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4 thoughts on “Welcome #TypeScript – a.k.a. the Future is JavaScript

  1. amazedsaint says:

    Hey Sumit, “Sometime ago he tweeted that MS is planning to kill .NET. No one took him seriously.” – So the theory from you and Scott goes like .NET will be killed, and we’ll start developing for Azure and Server side stuff in Type Script? Oh wait, you already mentioned it is 4 AM for you 😉

    • Sumit says:

      Hee Hee… since I already marked it as ‘gossip’ let me do some more trash talking… what if on server side all (current day .NET) languages were to emit NodeJS ;-)… don’t take it too seriously mate…

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