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Show HN: C#-to-JavaScript compiler powered by Microsoft Roslyn (duoco.de)
155 points by DuoCode 769 days ago | hide | past | web | 96 comments | favorite



I would encourage anyone looking at a C# to javascript compiler to check out typescript first.

I've seen projects use a compiler similar to this, and while writing C# sounds great to developers who already know C#, the differences between the C# source and the generated JS make debugging and maintenance difficult.

In my experience typescript provides C# developers much of what they are looking for - type safety, familiar class definitions, etc - while still being very easy to debug.


As a former C# guy who moved to the web, I can say with confidence this is true: TypeScript is a great language for building great web apps.

My "Show HN" submission yesterday[0], the web app for helping homeless youth find beds and shelter[1], is written in TypeScript.

[0]: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8886588

[1]: http://ysnmn.org


TypeScript was made by C# people, too :)


Agreed, I wish people would look at TypeScript more in general. It really is a great product that doesn't seem to be catching on very well.

Like many others I think the future of JavaScript is going to be treating it like bytecode. Write your application in whatever language you want for developer convenience and debugging, them push it out to javascript for processing. Seems to be where things are headed.


It seems to be catching on reasonably well: http://blog.javascripting.com/2014/07/28/fastest-growing-new...


IMHO the reason for such a compiler is sharing code between client and server. From that standpoint your advice is reasonable for C# programmers only if they are ready to abandon C# altogether and switch to node.js on server.


That's true - if you have some sort of business logic you want to run on both client and server, this or Script# could be very useful.

But if you're looking to write C# in the browser because you love C# and have heard JS is terrible (a BIG factor I've seen used when pushing tools like this), I'd look at typescript first.


> while writing C# sounds great to developers who already know C#, the differences between the C# source and the generated JS make debugging and maintenance difficult.

Isn't this solved with source maps?

> DuoCode automatically generates source mappings


Source maps get you line numbers but not live objects - you're still stuck inspecting JS objects.


Is there ReSharper or Roslyn for TypeScript? In terms of powerful AND extensible refactoring tools.


ReSharper supports TypeScript. See http://blog.jetbrains.com/dotnet/2014/03/17/more-typescript-...

Also TypeScript is supported by IntelliJ family of IDEs.


i love resharper for C#, but it's typescript support is... lacking. Easier (and better intelisense discovery) to use the official VS plugin for Typescript (and comes built into the newer versions of VS)


the new VS 2015 preview uses Roslyn for typescript. honestly I prefer VS 2013 better right now, the VS 2015 preview crashes regularly, plus is missing important extensions (and the Web Essentials plugin for it misses features such as TSLint)


SharpKit has a 3+ year head-start selling and supporting their solution (available commercially and under GPL3). I have no doubt they have considered transitioning to Roslyn as well; it is a tough decision for all those who had already built a C# parser. (Note that those using Mono [Saltarelle for sure] will wind up stuck unless they follow along to Roslyn.)

The biggest part of these projects is the re-implementation of the .NET CLR in JavaScript (for example, Saltarelle began life using the Script# runtime with a few tweaks). The more production usage the runtime has seen, the more useful the translation tool becomes!

http://sharpkit.net/


    // JavaScript code generated by DuoCode
    GetBestMove = function(board, player, winner)
That line will garbage the global scope..


The C# function is global, so the compiled Javascript function is global. Feels to me like the most correct compilation of the C# code.

(Consider: the C# code has no main function, so, if we hid the GetBestMove definition from the rest of the webpage, it would never get called. The optimal Javascript compilation would be an empty string, and that's clearly not valuable.)


I'm confused. C# doesn't even support global functions. In your example, it's a static private member of the AI class. Why is it wrong to generate

    var AI = {
        GetBestMove: function(....) { ... },
        ...
    };
?

Another thing, I had someone tell me once that according to Erik Meijer (of LINQ and Rx fame), years ago, Microsoft tried a C#-to-JS compiler too. It worked, but they had good reasons to drop the project anyway. Did you ever hear about that, do you know Microsoft's reasons for doing TypeScript instead? Are they still valid?


The project was Volta from Microsoft Live Labs. It was a technology preview but appears to have been canceled. There is also Script# by Nikhil Kothari from the .NET Platform group.


Hmm, I don't know C#; the method wasn't encapsulated in a class, so I assumed it was some kind of global. It could be that this isn't an actual input/output sample, but rather just one method of a compiled class.


Not sure what you mean, you mean it will cause the global scope to be garbage collected, because it will not. It will cause GetBestMove to never be garbage collected though, which is probably ok.


He probably meant to put stuff into the global scope is garbage. As in a 'bad idea', not GC.


I love this trend of building compilers for existing languages that target Javascript. Other 2 languages with fully functional Javascript compilers that are worth checking out:

- Scala / Scala.js (http://www.scala-js.org/) and I'm actually using this one for a non-trivial app

- Clojure / ClojureScript (https://github.com/clojure/clojurescript) with some companies using it in production

Both are using Google's Closure compiler to do tree shaking minification and are emitting source maps for the compiled code, so the size of the compiled artifacts is manageable in spite of the huge standard libraries they come with and debugging works well. Normally if you want tree shaking with Google Closure, you have to write code specific for Google Closure, however these compilers are doing that for you.

What you get in comparison with Javascript are saner languages that aren't just a prettified Javascript - completely different type system, awesome standard libraries, packages, saner semantics overall; you get a sane dependency management and build process, by means of their build tools (SBT and Leiningen respectively); you get libraries that are cross-compiled for the JVM and Javascript, so you can do code sharing between the server and the browser and you can use mostly the same tools, like IDEs. For example it's a great experience to use IntelliJ IDEA for targeting the browser with Scala - you get code completion, refactoring, the works.

And yes, the compiled size of the final artifact is a source of worry, but in practice I found to not be an issue and what's awesome is that in the long run it actually saves bandwidth for heavy apps. With Javascript many people tend to avoid using third-party libraries, because every imported library adds to the download size, however with tree shaking you're paying only for what you use. As I mentioned, being a Scala developer I picked up Scala.js and it's completely awesome, in spite of the project being young. Unfortunately these heavier alternatives to Javascript haven't picked up popularity - for some reason people preferred putting lipstick on Javascript and pretend that it's a new language.

I'm happy that compilers for C# are happening as well. My only gripe is that in true .NET fashion I'm not seeing a link to the source, which makes me think that this won't be open-source. Which is a pity.


List of languages that compile to JavaScript

https://github.com/jashkenas/coffeescript/wiki/list-of-langu...


If you use all features of scala you get at least 16mb pure js boilerplate. Even with dead code elimination you cant get below 100kb with 10 lines of scala. Im not sure if i would call that manageable. Your app might explode into megabytes at one point.

With es6 around the corner and the possibilities those features will provide, i would still bet on pure js. Those precompilers will benefit a great deal too. Symbols and Proxies alone will remove a lot of the hoops they have to go through now.


It's technically impossible to use all of Scala's features and if you do, you'd pay the same price with equivalent Javascript libraries.

I don't get this argument on the size of a hello world, given that JQuery 1.11 is over 270 KB and most people are just doing simple DOM selection with it, yet they don't complain their hello world comes with 270 KB of stuff they'll never use. Factor in React, Bootstrap, Angular.js or what have you and you can easily reach 1 MB of stuff that's never used for a couple of lines of code.

The app doesn't explode in MB, unless those MB are really needed - which is the fundamental difference between how these work and regular Javascript development. And given that there are some companies using these in production for non-trivial stuff and that nobody has ever reported that, I'm thinking that it doesn't happen.

My current app is currently clocking at 300 KB btw, but I am using the collections from the standard library, I am using a library for reactive streams built by myself, I am using React and I do have some code in it. And personally I find it OK.


In theory, jQuery can be brought in by reference from Google Hosted Libraries or cdnjs or whatnot, cached for a long time, and reused in any other website that uses the same external host and version. You can't say the same about your tree-shaken thingy... However, I'm not experienced enough to say how well that works in practice.


It really doesn't work out well, especially where it matters - on mobile phones with poor connectivity. Why do you think alternatives like Zepto.js exist?


Is that 300 KB minified and gzipped? I'm interested in scala.js but concerned about size.


Minified/optimized, but not gzipped. Size will depend on what you do with it. But play with it, see how it behaves, it's fun anyway.


Just want to bring it up, funscript (http://funscript.info/) has been around for a while for F#


Don't you still have to link externally to third party libs since 99% of JS libs won't pass through the closure compiler?


Depends on how you have your project setup. You don't have to pass them through the closure compiler. That's a choice.


In gwt, reflection isn't supported because it makes it hard for the compiler to do dead code elimination.

Supporting reflection might make it difficult to reduce the compile size of the javascript code in the future.

Or does c# reflection work differently from java?

Looks great by the way.


C# / .Net will have the same issue, but when they developed native compilation for windows phone apps they added a concept of a runtime definition file that lets you control how much needs to be retained for reflection: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn600639%28v=vs.110%...

The native compilation technology is moving over to normal .Net and I would imagine the runtime definition file could be used for javascript transpiling tree-shaking as well.


Thanks on first glance that looks like a much better solution than gwts' generators.


My implementation in GWT lets you control how much is retained by using annotations to control the retention level. It even gives you the option to defer loading reflection until a future code split, such that you only download the extra bytes for reflection support when you will actually need it. See above for link.


I actually have fully functioning reflection in GWT in a branch of my own, and will be getting it merged to master shortly after the GWT.create conference.

https://github.com/WeTheInternet/xapi/tree/master/gwt/gwt-re...

If you want to support complete reflection across the board it greatly swells compile size, but I have made it so you can be selective about what supports reflection, in order to avoid code bloat.


Wow the whole xapi project is great, thanks for the link.

How much do the threads actually work yet? How slow are they?


Threading support in gwt is still just a glorified Timer. I haven't had the time / a reason to actually implement a multi-compile to web worker to make them function correctly. If you can think of a good test project, I'd be glad to add it to my backlog after the gwt.create conference, where I'll be speaking about web components, java 8 and JsInterop. Basically, in my latest projects, about 90% of the implementation is annotated interfaces and default methods that get stitched together into web components...

I'm not sure how the other transpilers expose native javascript, but in the future of Gwt, interacting with plain javascript is dead simple; you get the best of both worlds; typed java code, and low-level js performance. The JsInterop stuff makes wrapping native js super easy, just define an interface that matches the JS, and it "just works" (tm). Even web components, just create an annotated interface, define default methods, and the compiler attaches them to custom element definitions. I could go on and on, but I'll save it for the correct forum (i.e., the gwt.create conference). :D


There is a project called gwt-ns that supports Web Workers (https://code.google.com/p/gwt-ns/)

Real threading would have to use ES6 yield/generators to translate an entire thread into a spawn loop so that async/await blocks can be emulated.


JavaScript became this "immediate language" that we compile other languages to. Could we instead get rid of it by making PROPER immediate language for the browser?


Unfortunately most of the people have been inside the barn long enough to stop noticing the smell, if you know what I mean.


If you like the feeling of working with something like C# it is also worth looking into Dart: https://www.dartlang.org/

    * Runs on the client and on the server
    * async/await
    * Well designed stdlib
    * Powerful intellisense support
    * Stream and Future based APIs


Can these compilers really generate "readable and maintainable Javascript" and at the same time generate performant JS? I think this is one of the reasons why languages like Dart and Clojurescript chose the opposite (not generate readable JS).


Well done. I like it but I'm not sure what my use case would be. I mean, if I wanted a cross compile language upgrade how do you decide between something like this and ES6?

Also, if there any language left that doesn't convert to JS?


A quick googling shows that people are still having some problems with fortran to javascript, as there's a bit of a dance between toolchains that needs done there. However, the best bet for if you wanna keep people from turning your code to javascript seems to be PL/I. Finding even less there for tools to convert it to javascript.


I am a huge fan of Saltarelle [1], which has the save level of support as this project. The only thing it seems to be lacking is proper source mapping abilities, which is currently in a dev branch. It also has many libraries already built, like JQuery or AngularJS. However, full support from Microsoft makes it much more realistic to bring in to a production environment. As a C# developer, this will be something to keep an eye on.

Edit: After reading more, this does not seem to be a Microsoft project.

[1] http://www.saltarelle-compiler.com


So is this a Microsoft project? they don't directly say it, but they try to make it sound as it is:

"DuoCode is an alternative compiler, powered by Microsoft® Roslyn, and integrated in Visual Studio."


Roslyn[1] is open source, so nothing that is being listed there implies Microsoft is behind this project.

[1] - https://github.com/dotnet/roslyn


for me, the key in that sentence is "integrated in Visual Studio", implying it comes or will come bundled with Visual Studio, English is not my first language so maybe I'm misinterpreting this.


It just means that it will likely come as a Visual Studio add-on which doesn't require any official support from Microsoft. [1]

[1] - https://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/


It's stating that it's available as a visual studio add-on, so you can set it as a build target.


Probably not. Roslyn is kind of a buzzword in the .NET space, especially since they open-sourced it early last year.


I do not believe so looking at the WhoIs:

References this company: www.eternix.co.il


Script# has existed for years and heavily used inside Microsoft. Even with that, it was not adopted as a tool for programming JavaScript in Visual Studio. If you need to code JavaScript but not in JavaScript as it exists today, TypeScript is what you should look at.

Please stop these C# to JavaScript compilers. If one needs to program in JavaScript, let them learn and understand JavaScript.


Yes! The whole compilation madness must stop. Machine code is good enough for everyone. And if you still need to code in a high-level language, assembly is what you should look at.


There is also Script# [1] which unfortunately seems to be no longer maintained. Even the domain of the homepage expired at the end of 2014. I used it for a couple of toy projects and it worked pretty well.

[1] https://github.com/nikhilk/scriptsharp


This isn't new. Microsoft had an unofficial project for a while called Script# (script sharp) that did the same thing. I think they rightly decided it was a better idea to support JavaScript directly and come up with a new language designed to target JS from the start (typescript)


IMHO, Transpilers will likely be the future of web development, with javascript evolving into an intermediate language which other languages are compiled to. Projects like this or gopherjs are a taste of what's to come.


As long as we're doing predictions, here's mine:

All the cool kids will finally stop trying to push everything to the browser, move some of that back to the server, and become completely content with what Javascript has to offer.


Why spend cycles doing work on the shared resource (the server), when you can leverage the (hopefully) millions of CPUs used by clients?

Smart clients reduce server load, and allow increased scale; why pay to make your server turn models into HTML when you can just send the model to the client and let it deal with it however it wishes.

For us at Appian, we use the same models and APIs for web, android and IOS; by having a smart client, the server only has to care about the shared model and executing requested instructions; it doesn't care how the client renders the result, nor should it.


I don't know how good this is, but I got to know from someone that Microsoft uses a similar thing for their internal uses and their version had a very poor debugging.


Can C# classes compiled in this way be exposed to JS, so the main program can be in JS with libraries compiled from C#? Or is it assumed that the main program is in C#?


Hmm.. Wonder if this could breathe life into a Silverlight application that needs a way forward..


I'm curious how this handles the very common case of passing functions as parameters in JavaScript. I know it's possible in C# but it's much more difficult to do. JavaScript is a much more functional language than C# and the design patterns are quite different.


C#:

    Func<string> blah = () => "im a function";
JavaScript:

    var blah = function(){ return "im a function"};
Not only is it not harder, it's more terse in C#.


That can be made even simpler in C#:

var blah = () => "im a function";


In ECMAScript 6:

    var blah = () => "im a function";
http://is.gd/D42hDi

:)


Wow. I love it when good syntax sugar is inherited by languages.


Yep, I've popped 6to5 in our gulp build process (it also handles JSX which is bleedin' fantastic), and my team and I are absolutely loving it.

The fact that, for instance, you can use ES6 modules, and it will be converted to whichever module loading system you're actually using (AMD or Browserify, for instance), means that our code is actually more portable now (our React/Flux/browseify app may well have to be integrated into a project that uses backbone/AMD soon, so that's no longer a headache.


Is that a new C# 6 feature? Cause in C# 5 delegates can't be implicitly typed.

    Func<string> blah = () => "im a function";

    var blah = new Func<string>(() => "im a function");


You just can't do it implicitl because the compiler can't distinguish Func<string> from Expr<Func<string>>.

But you can have a generic extension method that returns one of the types and then via inference you can do it implicitly typed.

It shoud be something like this in C# 5:

  public static class Lamb
  {
      public static Func<T> da(this Func<T> f)
      {
          return f;
      }
  }
and then:

  var egocentricFn = Lamb.da(() => "im a function");
I find it really useful not for Func's but for Expressions, as the type declarations can get pretty long.


Actually C#6 looks more like this:

string blah() => "im a function";

Ceylon:

String blah() => "im a function";

Coincidence? Just kidding.


I actually had that up there at first, but remembered you can't implicitly type lambdas yet.


In what way is it more difficult in C#? C# has lambda syntax:

   obj.Function(() => { ... });


I'm curious why you think it's more difficult. Aside from static vs dynamic typing issues, it's pretty much identical.


My C# skills must be out of date. Previously you had to use delegates and it was pretty cumbersome.


Even with delegates, C#'s version is pretty much equivalent to JS's:

JavaScript:

  var blah = function(){ return "im a function"};
C# 3.0:

  var blah = delegate { return "im a function"; };
C# 2.0:

  Func<string> blah = delegate { return "im a function"; };


Cool to see the open-sourcing of Microsoft code already being put to use.


I don't find writing JavaScript to be that hard. I don't get all of these compilers like this one, CoffeeScript, and TypeScript. Are people really that lazy that they can't spend the couple days it takes to learn the syntax and gotchas of JavaScript?


I'm working with a singlepage webapp that consists of ~1.5MLOC serverside(+other) and an additional ~100KLOC of javascript (not including libraries).

Refactoring and maintaining consistency are the two big problems we have with Javascript. It's easy enough to write javascript that works and does what we need it to do. The challenges come in when you start having separate components that need to interoperate.

eshint/jshint etc take you only so far (preventing you from dumping things into the global scope, avoiding typos). AMD etc can take you a bit further with async loading, and give a better [more consistent] pattern for exporting things than saying to devs "just put your stuff in an IIFE". FB Flow looks helpful, but it's trying to solve a difficult problem, and unfortunately doesn't work so well with our code thanks to ONE bad decision made a long time ago to rely on declaration hoisting ("unreachable code" :( ).

Anyways, knowing that your code isn't going to work before you start spinning up the application saves a lot of time.

Knowing that you can rename a method/function and have no undefined errors come out of it is great. Being able to look up usages of a method across the entire codebase is also useful. Eventually if Microsoft decide to spend resources on it, TypeScript might get CodeLens (which is on its own all manner of cool+useful).

Having class syntax means that you don't need to worry about external consumers accessing properties that they shouldn't be (+gets rid of silly conventions like underscore private members/methods).

JS is a great language, and it's powerful, but when you're writing large quantities of stuff, sometimes you need structure. Particularly when it's a large team and there are people of wildly varying experience, ranging from near-zero JS experience to people who have used it for a decade or more.


Unit tests fix the changing methods issue as well as making sure it will run when you run it. Types don't save you from that anymore then JSLint would as both can have logic errors.

Browserify can help with breaking your code down into smaller reusable modules for the client side and node you want to make your modules as small as possible? From the sounds of it you fell into the one big huge application that does everything problem instead of breaking it up. The same issues would have happen if you would have done that in any other language.

Varying experience doesn't mean you can give them TypeScript or CoffeeScript and not mess something up. You should still put code reviews and training in place though I do agree JavaScript lets you shoot yourself in the foot much easier.

You can hide variables through closures and sorry not a fan of getters and setters, I feel they are a anti-pattern (http://www.yegor256.com/2014/09/16/getters-and-setters-are-e...).

The one thing that would be nice would be knowing where your code is called. Though if you are using NPM and Browserify then that can be easier as well. I agree though that the tools are not as nice as Visual Studios find callers and the intellisense isn't that good ether but I am willing to trade them for the flexibility of not having to declare types and the simplicity of not having to work around types with generics, interfaces, and casting.

So I think there is structure in Javascript you just have to learn the best ways of implementing it. Yes Javascript makes it a little easier to shoot yourself in the foot but you can still do it with CoffeeScript, TypeScript, or even in C# and Java, we learn from our mistakes. I fell to be successful in Javascript you really need to keep it small and re-factor often but that really is the same in all languages.


TypeScript is different from CoffeeScript, it's not a new language. It's superset of JS, and it almost is JS, only ES6. So that's the direction where JS is going.


Each of your points is valid.

We have unit tests (fewer on the client than server though), CI that runs integration tests, automated UI tests and other stuff - but that's all much slower than "VS tells me that my code's broken so I should fix it before starting to debug". We'll catch bugs with TS or JS, it's just how long it takes to catch them that's the issue.

Modules aren't so much an issue for us (we don't have a big ball of mud IMO), it's how these modules talk to one another. This is not a problem that we experience in our serverside code because we have powerful tools (in terms of the IDE) that largely stop us from doing dumb things. We refactor a lot, and historically doing this in js has been a massive pain (ie there are no GOOD automated tools for refactoring that I'm aware of). If you use C# and move a method, you expect everything to keep working, but you don't have that same expectation when refactoring javascript. If your app is structured correctly, you do get that with TypeScript.

Same with reviews and training - we have both, but our team isn't big enough to have people dedicated to each area. We mostly hire C# devs, for better or worse, and want them to be as productive per hour as possible. Having it harder to shoot yourself in the foot means fewer feet shot over time, regardless of the team and their skillset.

Getters/setters was an unclear use of term "properties" on my behalf (which actually referred mostly exclusively to methods). Regardless of my personal opinions on getter/setter methods/closures etc, we have established patterns that will take a while to change. The problem is there, and so tooling that helps reduce what breaks when we make changes is a big plus. We don't have a robust message bus in the application, so there's a lot of crosstalk (that's a refactoring area).

And, overall, TS is a superset of javascript so you can always just write JS if that's what you've gotta do.

I guess that my overall point is that javascript is a great language (well, it's ok), but that tools like TypeScript just make things "better" for the average developer working on a large-scale system. JS is an organically grown language, and it shows in a number of places. You can do some super-cool things with it, sure, but for a lot of uses it's a worthwhile tradeoff to write something in a slightly-more-strongly-typed way.

We're about 10% new code, 90% refactoring and updating (though that's a guess, I haven't looked at the stats lately). For us, JS is more painful to maintain than C#. From what we've seen, TypeScript will give us significant benefits on that 90%.


All awesome points, I'll have to take a second look at TypeScript. Thanks for the points back.


I don't think laziness or a lack of desire to learn java script is the driving force for these projects. Rather, its simply for people who prefer a facade of strong types over their java script.


What do strong types get you? Being I write a bunch of C# at work and almost all JavaScript at home I find types very limiting, so I still don't get why?


When I implement a type zoo that models the problem I am solving I do not need to spend as much time reasoning about the semantics (with a good IDE) and the compiler warns me if I've done something odd and won't run the program if I've done something wrong.

With a strong typesystem I can first figure out what I need to do, then write it (like a fews of hundreds of lines), compile it and be fairly confident that the program runs almost correctly. Static typesystem does not help with the bugs that have to do with bugs in algorithms (wrong iteration order etc.) but it let's me concentrate on those parts mostly.

Static typing also functions as a self documentation - I see the intended program flow from the type signatures and do not need other means necessarily to figure out what the program flow is.

To me types are like lego bricks and dynamic languages are like ducktape - both have their uses.


I just find them hand holding and limiting.


Well said!

I love it when I can get the computer to hold my hand and limit my actions. Personally I feel the limits of my cognition and enjoy when the computer assists in proofing the correctness of my programs.

That way I can be more sure I don't do anything that breaks the program logic and that developers that come after me remain within the boundaries of correctness when modifying my code. Types don't help in design but they help in forming a coherent whole.

I've figured out there are two constraint systems I can use to effectively write correct programs. One of them is a typesystem and the second is set theory.

Granted, the most mainstream statically typed languages come with so much syntactical baggage and lack type hinting (C++, Java, C#) that they can effectively hide the elegance of types as a problem modeling tool.

Types can be used just as a non-value adding anal-retentive bureaucratic baggage but that's not how they should be used.

I'm professionally mostly a C++ programmer but did not really 'get it' until I familiarized myself with functional languages (Ocaml, F#) which helped me understand how to actually leverage a typesystem to help me write correct code instead of 'just using typedeclarations because the compiler is too stupid to figure out what I want to do'. To be precise, the languages themselves did not really teach me that much but the learning materials I used with those language did.

When I need to do something small data processing in a jiffy I usually pick Python. For small programs few-liners in dynamic languages are usually a win.


>One of them is a typesystem and the second is set theory.

What do you mean with set theory? I'm asking because languages like Ceylon and Whiley have union and intersection types which are basicially set theory.


Sorry, that was a bit odd way of putting it, perhaps.

What I mean that I first model a particular problem on pen and paper as a group of set operations and identities and then implement that using container operations. I.e. a set as a container, or a particular subset of the elements in the container. I totally depends on the program whether that simplifies things or not.

But for instance, I usually find that rather than adding lots of state variables to entities I model state as those objects belonging to various sets. I.e. store object Id in a list pertaining to a particular property.

This way subsystems can be implemented in a non-invasive, and extensible way. The set operators (union, difference etc.) do not need to be implemented explicitly, rather just figure out what is the most simple isomorphic routine to compute the output for that particular operation.


I find Typescript catches all sorts of typos that get missed in pure JS because I don't have 100% code coverage tests. Sure a JSLinter might catch some of those, but it won't find mis-spelled method names.

Other benefits include not having to remember the 'interesting' rules around 'this' in pure JS (though that occassionally slips through in libraries that use it). Having saner (to my eyes) syntax for modules and encapsulation. And having intellisense support in Visual Studio reduces the effort of writing the code.


Both great points!


> all JavaScript at home

Every language works pretty well for solo personal projects. It's when you scale up to dozens of team members and millions of lines of code that some things don't work as well.


I'm sorry, are you hoping I provide an all encompassing answer that convinces you of its usefulness? I can't provide that. Like I said, its simply a matter of personal preference. You find types limiting, others find them helpful.




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