TypeScript exposes some irrational Microsoft hatred


Just watched a couple of videos on TypeScript – basically a Microsoft-developed (but open source) superset of JavaScript which compiles into plain old JS that gives you a type-safe environment to write JS. Unlike stuff like Dart or Script#, because it’s a superset of JS, you can easily opt-in to bits you want; it integrates without any issues with existing JS like Node.js or JQuery.

Initial thoughts of TypeScript

Firstly, coming from a .NET developer background, my first thought was that TS reminds me of F#! By that I mean, first it builds on top of JS to give more functionality in a similar way that F# builds on top of the functionality of C#. Ironically some of this is accomplished by “removing” functionality e.g. static typing, just like F# introduces immutability which initially seems like a restriction but actually is a boon.

The type inference also reminds me of F# is that the output of methods is inferred from the return type from the method, or how you can define fields within the constructor directly. In fact, it makes me wish that C# had better type inference – and it just goes to show you can do more powerful type inference without more CLR support.

All in all, it looks very nice – basically gives you more intellisense, refactoring opportunities e.g. rename, lambda expressions, implicit closures etc. which are very C#-like.

Initial thoughts of TypeScript – with feeling

This is all good. Yet I’ve already read an incredible amount of emotional, uninformed spouting about it. I’m not referring to the actual articles in the links here – although the Register one isn’t quite as accurate as I’d have liked, talking about “extending JavaScript” in the headline which isn’t quite right. They’ve written a new language which itself is a superset of JS. They’re not writing an MS-only version of JS.

Yet there are many comments on the following tangent: –

  • It’s from Microsoft. Ergo, it’s crap.
  • It’s from Microsoft. Ergo, it must have some hidden nefarious purpose.
  • It’s from Microsoft. Ergo, it won’t be secure.
  • It’s just another Dart. What’s the point. Oh it must be competing with Google for the sake of it.
  • They’re trying to lock me in to the Microsoft tool-space etc. etc.
  • Static typing is crap.
  • This will just fragment the JS community by creating a different version of JS.
  • I can write JS directly, what do I need this for?

What a load of tosh! Anything that allows me to refactor a method or property name easily, or gives me intellisense for exploring an API is definitely a good thing. It doesn’t affect the runtime – it’s still spitting out plain JS. It doesn’t require me to learn lots of new things if I’m a JS developer. The language builds on top of JS – so you can opt-in for the bits that you want. It’s open source. What’s the problem?

Of course – it’s written by Microsoft.

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One thought on “TypeScript exposes some irrational Microsoft hatred

  1. Totally agree with you. Even as Crockford stated that he thinks TypeScript is a good choice to avoid some of JavaScripts problems there was a lot of BS comments about that. It’s quite sad actually.

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