Abhimanyu Krishnan | 15 Nov, 2022

TypeScript vs JavaScript: Which is Best in 2024


JavaScript is ubiquitous on the internet. As the most popular scripting language for many web projects, it has been the gateway programming language for many. But it’s not the only one of its kind.

TypeScript, an open-source programming language, is suitable for most large applications. It was developed by Microsoft in 2012, mainly because JavaScript code was becoming too complex to handle when it comes to large-scale applications.

This TypeScript vs JavaScript head-to-head comparison will look at the similarities and differences between the two.

TypeScript vs JavaScript: Highlights

  • JavaScript is better suited for small-scale applications, while TypeScript is better for larger applications.
  • TypeScript supports static typing but JavaScript does not.
  • TypeScript supports interfaces but JavaScript does not.
  • TypeScript features prototyping but JavaScript does not.
  • JavaScript supports running code on the browser, but TypeScript does not.
  • TypeScript supports modules but JavaScript does not.
  • In TypeScript, errors can be found and corrected during compile time; in JavaScript, eros can only be found during run-time as it is an interpreted language.
  • Functions can have optional parameters in TypeScript, but not JavaScript.

Difference Between JavaScript and TypeScript

The difference between JavaScript and TypeScript can be boiled down to a few aspects. That’s what we describe below.

What is JavaScript?

Developed by Netscape in collaboration with Sun Microsystems, JavaScript is one of the most popular core technologies of the web. From its beginnings, it has been an integral part of web applications making web pages interactive and dynamic. It is a high-level language, with JIT (Just-in-Time) compiler and dynamic typing.

For a long time, JS was only a client-side implementation, but some newer JS engines also have server-side implementations. The syntax of JS is similar to Java, and so are the standard libraries. As a starting point, JS is the best scripting language to learn. You can check out some JavaScript tutorials for more information.

Companies that use TypeScript include Microsoft, Google, PayPal, Netflix, and Uber.

Some of JavaScript’s unique features are:

  • Flexible, dynamic, and cross-platform
  • Used for both client-side and server-side implementations
  • Lightweight interpreted
  • Supported by all browsers
  • Weakly typed
  • JIT compilation

The Complete JavaScript Course 2024: From Zero to Expert!

What is TypeScript?

Essentially, all your JavaScript code is also valid in TypeScript – that means TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript - it’s just JavaScript with more features. So, if you save your JavaScript (.js) file with a TypeScript (.ts) extension, it will work perfectly fine. But that does not mean that TypeScript and JavaScript are the same.

TypeScript is no different from JavaScript in its purpose but is used for developing large applications. TypeScript trans compiles (source to source compilation) to JavaScript. It follows an object-oriented programming language structure and supports features like classes, interfaces, namespaces, and inheritance. Static typing is possible in TypeScript through type annotations (numbers, string and boolean).

TypeScript is strongly typed. This makes it better to debug (during compile time) which is a more efficient way to code for large projects. TypeScript programs typically consist of modules, functions, variables, comments, expressions, and statements – just like any other full-fledged programming language.

When the code becomes huge, complex to handle, and prone to errors, it is better if the errors are caught during compile time itself. That is where TypeScript helps.

Companies that use TypeScript include Microsoft, Slack, Medium, and Accenture.

Some of TypeScript’s most prominent features are:

  • Easy to maintain and enhances project productivity.
  • Static typing and annotations are possible.
  • Supports object-oriented features like interface, inheritance, and classes.
  • Easy to debug and early detection of errors.
  • Supports ES6 (ECMAScript) that offers easier syntax to handle objects and inheritance features.
  • Good full-fledged IDE support.

TypeScript vs JavaScript: Head-to-Head Comparison

TypeScript JavaScript
Superset of JavaScript developed to overcome code complexity for large projects. A scripting language that helps create dynamic web page content.
Errors can be found and corrected during compile time. Errors can be found only during run-time as it is an interpreted language.
Strongly typed, supports both static and dynamic typing. Weakly typed, no option for static typing.
Converted into JavaScript code to be understandable for browsers. Can be directly used in browsers.
Since it is a superset, all the JavaScript libraries, and other JavaScript code works without any changes. JS libraries work by default.
There is support for ES3, ES4, ES5 and ES6. No support for compiling additional ES3, ES4, ES5 or ES6 features.
Supports modules, generics and interfaces to define data. No support for modules, generics or interface.
Functions can have optional parameters. Functions cannot have optional parameters.
Example code:
function multiply (a, b) {
return a*b;
}
var result = multiply(a, b);
console.log(‘The answer is - ’ + result);
Example code:
<script>
function multiply (a, b) {
return a*b;
}
var result = multiply(a, b);
document.write (‘The answer is – ’ + result);
</script>
Numbers and strings are considered as interfaces. Number and string are objects.
Powerful and intuitive language for large projects. Neat and clean, most suitable for simple web applications.
Community support is still growing. Huge community support with lots of documentation and support for solving issues.
Prototyping is possible No support for prototyping.
Takes time to learn and code, scripting knowledge is a must. Can be learned on the go, no prior scripting experience is needed.
Proper build setup (npm package) is required for static type definitions No build setup is required.

Conclusion

As we have already determined, JavaScript is most suited when your team is new and is working on small web projects. If you have a team with good expertise and knowledge and want them to handle a complex project, going for TypeScript is a perfect choice.

There’s no need to limit yourself to one when it comes to TypeScript or JavaScript. The TypeScript vs JavaScript differences are not as many as you think, though those differences may be significant.

That said, if you are looking for a learning curve and job opportunities, TypeScript has an edge over JavaScript. TypeScript developers are paid an average salary of $148,000 per year whereas JS developers are typically paid around $110,000 per year.

If you learn TypeScript, you can work on both JS as well as TypeScript projects. Start learning TypeScript today.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is TypeScript Better than JavaScript?

TypeScript is not a replacement for JavaScript. For smaller projects, using TypeScript could have high overhead costs because it takes time to trans compile the code into JavaScript, which is an extra step. JavaScript runs directly on the browser, so for small code chunks, it's easier to refresh and debug the code. In the case of TypeScript, we need a proper IDE to set up to run the code.

2. Is TypeScript Easier than JavaScript?

The difficulty levels are comparable. There are certain scenarios in which TypeScript may be tougher to wrap your head around, and likewise for JavaScript.

3. Should I Learn JavaScript or TypeScript?

JavaScript is probably the better choice for complete beginners. As mentioned earlier, TypeScript is just a superset of JavaScript. JS might be a better choice because it is very popular and could lead to more career opportunities to begin with.

4. Is TypeScript Safer than JavaScript?

There are many who say that TypeScript, as a newer version of JavaScript, is more secure than the latter. However, if you know what you are doing and follow the best security practices, JavaScript can also be secure for all intents and purposes.

5. Does Google Use JavaScript or TypeScript?

Google uses TypeScript for its web application framework Angular. An example of a product that uses TypeScript is Google Analytics.

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By Abhimanyu Krishnan

With a bachelor's degree in Information Technology, Abhi has experience with several programming languages, including Python, JavaScript and C++. He is also an expert on blockchain technology and its development, having worked in the industry for several years.

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Mindmade Technologies

Awesome Topic, and explained well, Thanks for sharing this informative article with us.

8 months ago