Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Microsoft augments JavaScript for large-scale development

Joab Jackson | Oct. 2, 2012
Equipping JavaScript to build more complex applications, Microsoft has augmented JavaScript with a set of advanced development capabilities typically found in more mature programming languages, such as C++ and Java. These new capabilities, packaged as a new domain-specific language (DSL) called TypeScript, offers static typing, classes and modularization.

Classes will allow developers to reuse existing functionality in the program. Modularity can help them organize large codebases, as well as make it easy to swap in updates to one part of the code with little impact to other parts of the program.

Microsoft is not the first company to tackle the problem of making JavaScript more robust. Google has also confronted the shortcomings of JavaScript for complex application development, most notably by developing a new language to handle more complex Web applications, called Dart.

TypeScript could be advantageous over Dart in that it does not require developers to learn an entirely new language. Rather they can continue to use JavaScript and just learn the specific rules around the TypeScript language, Hejlsberg said.

Another potential advantage to TypeScript is that no new technology is needed on browsers, given that the finished TypeScript code is compiled into regular JavaScript, which then can be run on any browser. TypeScript carries no additional performance lag on runtime, due to the fact that the TypeScript additions "compile away," said Hejlsberg.

The TypeScript specification is available, at no cost, under the Open Web Foundation OWFa 1.0 Specification Agreement, and Microsoft is seeking community consultation for further development. The compiler is licensed under the Apache 2.0 license.

 

Previous Page  1  2 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.