re: Thoughts on migrating to TypeScript and improving the overall quality of the frontend DEV codebase VIEW POST

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re: I find one of the easiest and most comfortable ways to slide into TypeScript are to leave the current code base as-is and first add // @ts-check to...
 

I have no experience with TypeScript, so I might say something stupid here. But what's the point of continious integration of TypeScript in a big project? It's very unlikely that you'll rewrite all your codebase to TypeScript, so part of your code will be typed and other part will be just vanilla javascript. I guess you will not feel secure backed by types, because you'll know that it's not true.

In total you'll get:

  • New dependency, configuration, transpiling step, .d.ts files
  • More code to type +- New code will be covered with types, but connections with old code will not
 

I work on a large older codebase that we decided to convert to TypeScript. While it has taken us some time to get there, we are at probably 95% TypeScript, and the rest should be taken care of within a month. It is definitely possible, and is easier to do the more you realize it helps you with code quality and developer happiness. It went from being a chore to being an exciting thing to convert a file over here and there.

 

Thanks for replying! These are good questions to ask. They are not "stupid" in my opinion :)

You do write more code with TS, but you also get a stronger sense of finding issues while coding vs finding them while they code is in production. To me, one of the biggest values in TS is that many potential bugs surface themselves at dev time vs run time.

Is there value in only having new code in TS? There can be as this new code would make me feel more confident. You can also add the // @ts-check to existing JavaScript in VS Code ... give that a shot. That alone is quite amazing at what it can surface in existing JavaScript.

New thought --- Another option is to run the typescript compiler on javascript. No TypeScript at all. The compiler will examine the javascript and report any issues it finds (it's like adding ts-check to all of your files). I did this on a large codebase and it did indeed surface a lot of potential issues that were hiding. This is a super low (no) risk way of trying it.

Again, thanks for the great questions. Always good to ask - especially if something isn't quite feeling right.

Oh, I didn't know that I can run typescript compiler on javascript code without modifying the existing code. Thanks, I'll give it a try.

Set allowJs to true in the tsconfig.json file to tell typescript to look at the js.

Good luck!

Why didn't you just recommend this from the start? Seems a lot simpler than to add // @ts-check to every single JS file like you said in your original comment :P

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