First try of using Typescript with React. My thoughts

2019年7月23日 · 英文

★ This post was originally published on my Medium: First try of using Typescript with React. My thoughts

Recently, I tried many things that I haven’t used on web development.
For example, usually I use webpack to build my development environment, or sometimes just create-react-app. In the last project I tried parcel and I love it.

Typescript is a thing that I think I must learn and I think I would love it for a long time. In this article I will show some thoughts on using typescript with react.
This article is not about teaching or showing techniques of typescript & react. Just about some personal thoughts.

38% of bugs could have been prevented by TypeScript

This is a talk in JSConf 2019. Airbnb’s developer says Typescript can help preventing 38% of bugs. Although some people didn’t agree of the number, it still means a lot of bugs in Javascript are caused by types.

Dynamic vs. Static

Javascript is dynamically typed, we gain some benefit by dynamic type, coercions, especially the efficiency to rapidly make a working project.
But as the project grows, the time pass through, the team grows. It usually leads to many weird bugs. These bugs are pretty hard to trace. Even though we make a lot of guidelines in coding, the bugs just kept popping out.

In Taiwan, most of the computer science department in university teaches static language for the first language, like C++ & JAVA. My first language is JAVA, when I start coding with JAVA, the type, the ide error message annoys me pretty much. So when I learned Javascript, Ruby, Python. I love the dynamic type system. It feels like I can control everything. No more error messages.
Then I woke up from the dream. Because of my bad habits of coding, the dynamic type leads to tons of bugs.
I referenced many Javascript guidelines of big company such as google, airbnb, make constraints of coding to minimize bugs.

So why not bring the static type into Javascript ?

Moving to Typescript

Shifting to Typescript is pretty easy. By renaming .js file to .ts we can gain some benefit by type inference without changing code.
Learning to use typescript is all about design patterns. The syntax of type annotation is simple.
After using Typescript to build a project. The biggest benefit I gain is about functions. In Javascript, passing variables in and out often mess up the types.
In Typescript we can clearly notice the types go in the function and the types goes out. Also we can get autocomplete, error messages immediately inside the code editor.


That’s a huge enhancement of coding experience.

Typescript with React

As a react developer, using Typescript is a great and it’s not a big pain to switch to Typescript.
Previously we use PropTypes to provide type checks in react components.
By using Typescript, we use interfaces to define the types of states and props. In my opinion, it’s even less code than before.

Props / state type annotation with hooks

Of course there’s more design patterns have to learn such as integrating redux. I’m still learning now either.


Many people get confused about Javascript types, I am one of them. I knows how to use these stuff, these features in the language, but never care about the types passing through functions and functions.
Even though I’ve learned a static language, I messed up.
By learning and using Typescript, I knows the language itself better.
By searching and learning with the type I should annotate, I gain more than the Typescript main feature like type checks.

I think I would use Typescript instead of vanilla Javascript in my new projects.