The Road Map
This book follows familiar conventions. It addresses a few house keeping topics (like this very chapter) before properly introducing the language. That proper introduction starts off with simple topics (variables and data types) and works its way up to more complicated areas towards the end, such as generics.
This book won't go into any great detail about some topics. It's mostly concerned with the TypeScript language. As a result, the book does not provide step-by-step instructions for things like downloading TypeScript, installing it or configuring it. This and similar topics are covered in much better detail elsewhere. The final chapter, "Where Do I Go From Here?" points to some useful online resources focusing on these things.
This chapter covers the TypeScript development experience at a higher level. It answers questions such as:
- How do I write TypeScript applications in the first place?
- How do I debug TypeScript apps?
The goal here to help ground you in the TypeScript "world" and describe the big picture of what's happens as you build TypeScript solutions. As you'll see, it's not very complicated1.
TypeScript offers static types. You don't need to use them, but they are pretty helpful. This chapter starts off describing primitives (integers, strings and the like). It shows how declaring a variable's type helps good integrated development environments (IDEs) provide useful edit-time and compile-time feedback. We'll also take an opportunity to try and knock the TypeScript doubters off their perch with the strong typing goodness :)2.
Types in Depth
The real world is complicated with complex data structures. TypeScript offers up the notion of
interfaces to help us describe and manage them. This chapter introduces interfaces as a way to describe them starting with a flat object and moving on to a more complex JSON formatted response from a REST service.
TypeScript interfaces look and feel quite similar to interfaces in C# and Java. Generally speaking, interfaces are one of the backbones for many common and important design patterns and principles (think SOLID). TypeScript interfaces enable us to more directly implement these design patterns3.
TypeScript offers several other ways to describe data. The chapter covers a few the most useful ones. These include:
- Enumerations: Assigning a label to a fixed value.
- Union Types: Define a new custom type that can hold two or more different types of values (including hard coded strings).
TypeScript provides other types, such as intersection types. This book takes a pass on those types for now - they feel like edge cases and although interesting and vitally useful when you can, you know, use them, most of us don't live on the edge.
Eliminate cumbersome string manipulation through the magic of template strings!
In addition, learn about Arrow Functions, often called "anonymous" or "lambda" functions.
Introducing Classes and Classes in Depth
TypeScript's static typing is, as they say, the bee's knees. Classes are the honey and these two chapters cover them pretty thoroughly:
- Class syntax
- Classes and interfaces
- Abstract classes
- Static class members
Classes are an important building block for object oriented programming and TypeScript provides some solid support here.
Learn TypeScripts' version of generics as you know them from C# and Java.
A big long list of links that will hopefully lead you to TypeScript Greatness.
2. If you or someone you know is a TypeScript doubter, have a look at this chapter and its videos. Invest fifteen minutes or so here and then make up your mind about whether you want to invest more time after that. ↩
3. As they say in the Old Country, "Come for the static typing, stay for the interfaces." ↩