Google's Angular 2 being built with Microsoft's TypeScript

Static Typing FTW!

Big news for fans of static typing! Google and Microsoft have partnered to both enhance TypeScript and rebuild Angular in the TypeScript language. Google and Microsoft cooperating is enough to make news by itself, but I'm even more pleased about the fact that both tech giants recognize the benefits of unifying onto a common open source project to accomplish their goals. TypeScript, Microsoft's attempt at improving on JavaScript development, has been out there for a while without a notable use case. Likewise, Dart, Google's attempt at a language which accomplishes many of the same goals, hasn't seen a lot of traction outside of Google. With Google creating the next version of its popular framework Angular 2 using TypeScript, some weight is being thrown behind a single effort. 

Angular has its fair share of haters, and a complete re-write in version 2 which breaks compatibility with previous versions isn't going to help matters. The fact that the Angular team is cutting its losses and rebuilding the platform from scratch should at least signal that they're serious about improving things however. And if you're going to start over, why not start again with a language that will help you with code quality and development productivity? 

The Angular team and the TypeScript team worked together to basically merge in the features made available by AtScript (a Google project which extended TypeScript) and extend ECMAScript6 support. The result is that, with version 1.5 of TypeScript, Google and Microsoft are now both working off of the same platform and code base. AtScript will be gone and Angular 2 will be built on TypeScript. It's a big step.

What is unclear (at least to me) is why Google chose TypeScript over its own Dart programming language. Could this be an indicator of where Dart stands with Google moving into the future, or is it more a signal of how good TypeScript is? Angular 2 in TypeScript builds down to plain JavaScript and can be trans-piled to Dart, but that almost feels like a peace offering to their internal Dart team. What is clear to me is that languages like TypeScript are beneficial for JavaScript projects where code quality and team development matter. 

For more resources about TypeScript, head over to the language main page, or checkout the TypeScript Sandbox

To see Angular 2 + TypeScript in action, check out the GitHub repo for the TODOMVC demo.

This story, "Google's Angular 2 being built with Microsoft's TypeScript" was originally published by ITworld.

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

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