Table of Contents
This question stirs heated debate. Both sides boast zealous backers.
By the end, you’ll have all the insights to pick the best option for your next React project! Let the battle commence.
Round 1: Type Safety
For example, TypeScript would warn you if you tried to assign a string to a number variable:
// Error detected at compile time
let price = 'twenty';
Type safety helps catch:
- Passing wrong data types
- Misspelled properties
- Improper function calls
This makes refactoring safer too. The compiler verifies existing code still works.
TypeScript also provides:
- Code auto-completion
- Better documentation
- Easier debugging
The cost is more verbosity in code annotations. But overall type safety boosts productivity in large apps.
TypeScript wins round 1.
Round 2: Tooling
TypeScript’s static typing also enables great editor tooling like:
- Contextual autocomplete
- Real-time error flagging
- Automatic refactors
- Built-in definitions
These tools enhance developer experience. However, they also rely on type definition files being available for libraries.
TypeScript wins round 2 with superior tooling.
- Migrate code progressively
- Use JSX syntax extension
You can add types incrementally without rewriting everything. This allows managing risk when converting big codebases.
document.write() by defaulting to
any type when types can’t be determined.
Round 4: Learning Curve
TypeScript’s static typing requires learning concepts like:
- Type annotations
- Interface and class structures
- Access modifiers
This takes time up front. Converting untyped code also creates friction. Defining custom types for libraries requires more effort.
Skilled TypeScript developers are currently less common than JS ones as well.
Round 5: Codebase Maintenance
In large codebases, TypeScript starts to shine. Defined interfaces and types act like documentation.
Refactoring is safer thanks to compile-time checks. Improved tooling and autocomplete speed up development.
If other team members don’t leverage types, conversions likely won’t be worth it either. Migrating piecemeal can cause confusion.
Round 6: Performance
The TypeScript compiler is also very fast. The only performance hit is slightly longer compile times.
However, you can configure performance optimizations like:
- Disabling type checking
- Excluding unused code
noEmitOnErrorto skip emitting code with errors
Overall performance impact is negligible compared to code quality benefits.
Round 7: React Support
React and TypeScript make great partners. React has first-class TypeScript support including:
- Official types for core library
- Guidance on component patterns
- Community type lib definitions
Types provide safety for complex components and state. Code completion aids JSX coding.
However, you can also safely use React without any types. Many React developers happily use vanilla JS.
TypeScript wins round 7 with dedicated React type tools, but plain JS remains completely viable.
The answer depends heavily on your specific app needs and team skills.
TypeScript wins for:
- Large codebases
- Teams with strong type experience
- Critical applications where reliability is key
- Smaller apps with limited complexity
- Novice developers or coding education
- Startups optimizing for speed over perfection
If your codebase will grow large, TypeScript’s tooling and safety bring high long-term value. But it requires an investment in learning.
Here are some guidelines based on project scope:
- >50k Lines – Strongly consider TypeScript
- Enterprise scale – TypeScript helps manage complexity
You could also trial TypeScript on non-critical sections first. Integrate it over time instead of rewriting everything at once.
TypeScript or not, the most important choice is picking React for your next web project! Both languages pair excellently with it.