Working with TypeScript 1.7? Check out the 1.8 Beta, Out Now

TypeScript 1.7 has been out a month, but there's already a TypeScript 1.8 in beta and it features compilation improvements, expanded JSX support, plus ChakraCore support.

It might be just a beta release, but developers will be able to test drive many of the more well developed features of TypeScript 1.8 that hit the wire this week. It comes just one month after TypeScript 1.7 was released and it features JavaScript compilation improvements, expanded JSX support, and ChakraCore support to spur performance.

Of significance in this release is that the "TypeScript compiler can now consume JavaScript files alongside TypeScript files," writes Microsoft's Bowden Kelly, in a blog post. It's just a matter of setting a flag, but Kelly notes that there are quite a few reasons that this feature is awesome. For one, that capability now allows single-file conversion, rather than having to convert all files from a project in toto, which can produce an avalanche of compilation errors.

Kelly writes that another benefit developers will find with version 1.8 is the ability to include third-party JavaScript libraries without having to mess with a module bundler such as webpack or browserify."With TypeScript 1.8, you can simply include these 3rd party JavaScript libraries in your compilation and they will follow your emitted JavaScript wherever it goes," he writes. "Source maps included!"

As for JSX support, TypeScript 1.8 can now use custom JSX factories with the addition of a compiler flag, and this version also supports stateless functional components in TSX files. There's also syntax highlighting in JSX tags.

TypeScript 1.8 also uses the ChakraCore JavaScript engine whenever possible, notes Kelly. (ChakraCore was recently open sourced; see this news for more.) "We found ChakraCore achieved significantly reduced compilation times, outperforming the previous version of Chakra that we were using by 5-20%," said Kelly.

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