TypeScript 5.0: 'Smaller, Simpler and Faster'

Microsoft shipped TypeScript 5.0 with new features claimed to make the language smaller, simpler and faster.

"We've implemented the new decorators standard, added functionality to better support ESM projects in Node and bundlers, provided new ways for library authors to control generic inference, expanded our JSDoc functionality, simplified configuration, and made many other improvements," said Daniel Rosenwasser, senior program manager, in a post last week.

The new decorator features were met with enthusiasm from one developer who commented on Rosenwasser's post, saying they were "quite relevant."

Rosenwasser described decorators as an upcoming ECMAScript (the JavaScript standard) feature that lets developers customize classes and their members in a reusable way.

TypeScript documentation says of decorators: "With the introduction of Classes in TypeScript and ES6, there now exist certain scenarios that require additional features to support annotating or modifying classes and class members. Decorators provide a way to add both annotations and a meta-programming syntax for class declarations and members."

A complete explanation of decorator functionality takes up much of the announcement post, which also includes a lengthy list of other features ranging from const Type Parameters to speed, memory and package size optimizations.

The latter, speaking to the smaller, simpler and faster claim, concerns "powerful" changes that span the language's code structure, data structures and algorithmic implementations.

Here's a chart depicting speed improvements:

[Click on image for larger view.] Build Times (source: Microsoft).

And here's one for size improvements:

[Click on image for larger view.] npm Package Size (source: Microsoft).

The size improvements were attributed to availability of modern build tooling that was accommodated by switching to the use of modules instead of namespaces.

The new tooling, along with a revised packaging strategy and removal of some deprecated code, enabled the package size reduction while also boosting performance via direct function calls.

[Click on image for larger view.] TypeScript 5.1 Iteration Plan (source: Microsoft).

As for what's coming up in the next iteration, v5.1, the plan calls for a May 23 release date with many enhancements and new features across the compiler, language service, performance and infrastructure.

Microsoft's popular type-syntax take on JavaScript was recently named as one of the top skills to learn and know in a survey-based software engineering report, shortly after being named the fastest-growing programming language in a JetBrains developer report.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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