Microsoft adds near-final TypeScript to Visual Studio 2013 Update 2

Microsoft adds near-final TypeScript to Visual Studio 2013 Update 2

Summary: Microsoft's superset of JavaScript, TypeScript, is now integrated into the latest Visual Studio 2013 update.

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Microsoft is rolling out a second tech preview of Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 on February 25 -- one with support for its new TypeScript language and tooling built in.

mstypescript

Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 Community Technology Preview (CTP) 2 includes the near-final release candidate of TypeScript 1.0 "in the box." (The TypeScript 1.0 Release Candidate also is available for Visual Studio 2012 customers as a standalone installer.)

TypeScript, a three-plus year-old Microsoft project, is all about creating a typed "superset" of the JavaScript scripting language for large-scale projects. Anders Hejlsberg, the father of C#, is one of the key members of the TypeScript team. Microsoft officially announced TypeScript and made a first test build of it available to developers in October 2012.

Microsoft officials said the final release of TypeScript 1.0 will be part of the final release of Visual Studio 2013 Update 2. They aren't pinning a target delivery date on when Update 2 will be final, but given the rapid pace at which the team has been rolling out Visual Studio updates, it probably won't be long.

"JavaScript was intended for 100-line apps, not thousands-of-line apps," Hejlsberg said during a call I had with him this week. That's the gap Microsoft is trying to fill with TypeScript. 

Hejlsberg called TypeScript one of Microsoft first big forays into open source from the get-go of the project. (It's available under an Apache 2.0 license.)

As of CTP2 of Visual Studio Update 2, TypeScript officially becomes a "first-class language in Visual Studio," Hejlsberg said. "It will be in Visual Studio proper, as opposed to a separate download."

Hejlsberg said he has been surprised himself about the adoption of TypeScript since its announcement, both internally at Microsoft and externally.  Microsoft's browser-based development toolbox, codenamed "Monaco," was developed using TypeScript. The new UI in Xbox Music, various Bing projects, the F12 tools in Internet Explorer and Adobe's Digital Publishing Suite also were all written using TypeScript, Hejlsberg said.

What else is in Visual Studio 2013 Update 2 CTP2? Among the updates:

  • Integration with the latest ASP.NET MVC, Web API and Web Page releases 
  • Entity Framework 6.1 Beta 1 is now included 
  • Windows Azure Notification Hubs can send test notification messages to Windows Store, Windows Phone, iOS, and Android devices and check the outcome in real-time
  • Inclusion of Team Foundation Server 2013.2 Release Candidate, with Go-live license for TFS components and Git improvements
  • Support build of Java apps in hosted Git repositories with Visual Studio Online

The CTP 2 build is cumulative and includes everything already released in CTP 1 for Visual Studio 2013 Update 2.

Topics: Software Development, Cloud, Microsoft

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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10 comments
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  • TypeScript is amazing, relatively speaking

    I'm in the process of converting many thousands of lines of JavaScript code to TypeScript. It immediately revealed hundreds of things that could be improved, and even some outright bugs -- it undoubtedly will improve the quality of our code.

    At the same time, however, it also reinforces how terrible JavaScript as a language is compared to languages like C#. Despite a valiant effort, there are still many JavaScript-isms that even TypeScript cannot hide. It's a real shame there is not true choice of language in the browser the way there are on other platforms -- this is, in my mind, the tragedy of the web. But hey, if TypeScript can get me even halfway from where I was to where I could be with a proper language, I'll take it!
    compupc1
    • Re: TypeScript is amazing, relatively speaking

      @compupc1 >"it also reinforces how terrible JavaScript as a language is compared to languages like C#"

      I couldn't disagree more with this sentiment. To me C# feels heavy and restrictive after a year of TypeScript. I suggest spending the next few months coding TypeScript/JavaScript and revisiting that opinion.
      NoelAbrahams
  • Kudos MS.

    I am excited to try this update in Visual Studio... I am not a fan of JavaScript, but hopefully TypeScript will change that.
    Owl:Net
  • We have not forgotten VB Script in your browser - LOL

    Whatever good it is, if other browsers do not support it, it is next to useless. You would have to be dedicated to MS body and soul and use absolutely nothing else if you were going to use it I guess.
    GoForTheBest
    • Um, you really need to know what you are talking about

      TypeScript a strict superset of JavaScript (i.e., all JavaScript is legal TypeScript).

      TypeScript compiles into idiomatic JavaScript, and then that it used by the browser. If you start using TypeScript and then decide you'd rather punish yourself with pure JavaScript, you can just take the very readable JavaScript that the TypeScript compiler emits and use it as a starting point going forward.

      The TypeScript compiler is written in TypeScript (i.e., effectively in JavaScript). All this can run in any modern browser.

      This is in contrast to things like CoffeScript and Dart which do the require browser support you are talking about.

      TypeScript is very (modern) browser friendly (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TypeScript)
      Flydog57
      • CoffeeScript and Dart

        I think both CoffeeScript and Dart also compile down to JavaScript for compatibility with all browsers. That said, at least in the case of Dart their backwards is the backup plan; their design is really designed as a replacement instead of addition -- so no JS libraries are compatible. I actually like the Dart approach better in theory; I have an intense, burning hatred of JavaScript. However it's not a practical as TypeScript for all existing apps, which are most of them.
        compupc1
        • CoffeeScript and Dart not the same as Typescript

          true, but coffeescript and dart makes you learn a new syntax/language while typescript is just an extension to existing javascript. I'm learning typescrip/javascipt to enable me to read core javascript and work more flexibly. Coffee/dart will lock you into their view, and you will get less real javascript knowledge.

          so think of typescript as helper extensions to javascript, and it will be cool. I'm sure with more experience I can go native javascript without type, but at the moment, it's helping make better javascript.
          tony.drake@...
  • Steps to immediately improve things for developers

    It is strange the way how MS makes all these investments into tech for developers, who by and large, wouldn't spit on MS, if its hair was on fire. Where I come from, you take care of your family first. Hey, but that's just me.

    There are things MS can do immediately that would developing for its platforms a lot more attractive. Raise the minimum cost of apps in the productivity and business sections of its app stores to $5. Actively takes steps to make the prices of Windows store apps comparable to what you see on many web based download sites such as download.cnet.com. Also integrate Bing Ads into its app stores, and maybe take a cut of sales for the service.
    P. Douglas
    • JS @ MS

      Remember that Microsoft has some pretty huge investments in large scale JavaScript projects. Examples include OfficeOnline, OWA, SharePoint, F12 tools, the new JS based code editor, Azure management console, all the Win8 Bing apps, etc., etc.

      When several of these teams took their existing JavaScript code, augmented them with type descriptor metadata and passed them through Typescript, several subtle, but high impact bugs were found that has not previously been detected by several rounds of code review and comprehensive testing.

      Humans are very poor compilers.
      bitcrazed
    • A couple of comments

      There lots of Microsoft-centric web developers, and using TypeScript instead of JavaScript in an ASP.NET MVC app makes it easier.

      And, there's nothing in the way for anyone to move TypeScript into other realms. There's Eclipse plug-in (I think). There's nothing really Microsoft-centric about TypeScript other than the tooling built into Visual Studio.
      Flydog57