TypeScript v4.4 ships and gets a new homepage — Visual Studio Magazine


TypeScript v4.4 ships and gets a new homepage

TypeScript, Microsoft’s optional version of JavaScript, shipped in version 4.4, along with a home page redesign.

As we reported last month in the v4.4 beta, performance improvements have speeded up operations such as path normalization, path mapping, incremental releases, generating source maps for large outputs , --force built and more. Another performance improvement announced for the GA v4.4 release is faster declaration issuance.

“TypeScript now caches whether internal symbols are accessible in different contexts, as well as how specific types should be printed,” said Daniel Rosenwasser, in an August 26 announcement. “These changes can improve the general performance of TypeScript in code with fairly complex types, and are especially seen when issuing .d.ts folders under --declaration flag.”

Beyond the performance front, another new feature provides spelling suggestions in plain-vanilla JavaScript files, using the same “Do you mean…?” prompts that appear in TypeScript files. This is possible because TypeScript is also used to power JavaScript editing functionality in the Visual Studio Code Editor and the Visual Studio IDE.

“These spelling suggestions can provide a subtle clue that your code is wrong,” Rosenwasser said. “We managed to find a few bugs in the existing code while testing this feature! »

Here are some links to other improvements:

Just days before the release of v4.4, Microsoft announced a new TypeScript homepage, following a complete overhaul of the entire corporate site about a year ago.

Looking at the messaging to describe TypeScript to newcomers, especially on the homepage, the development team undertook a redesign to introduce the language and then explain the value proposition of using it after user testing revealed :

  • There was no obvious call to action at the top of the site
  • You couldn’t scan the text, because it was all the same visual weight
  • We were probably using too much text explaining the concepts
  • There were not enough code examples on the site
  • People haven’t made the connection between our use of colors and its meaning
  • Site-wide footer was a distraction
  • People didn’t realize that TypeScript powers most JavaScript tools
  • There were parts of the site where people felt like they knew enough to make a decision, but didn’t know where to go next.

These elements didn’t seem to be an issue last year when Microsoft described the homepage as follows:

We decided on the design and copy of the TypeScript home page 6 years ago, but things have changed a lot since then. TypeScript has grown and understands what it wants to be: a type layer on top of JavaScript that offers great tooling support.

This goal is to explain how the team works with JavaScript standards bodies, describe how DefinitelyTyped enables TypeScript to provide types to untyped libraries, and teach how adopting TypeScript doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing choice. nothing.

Hopefully the new homepage makes it easier to understand TypeScript’s place in the JavaScript ecosystem.

Today, however, the team is emphasizing “call to action,” a marketing buzzword that involves telling a target audience what to do once they have landed on a site.

A call to action
[Click on image for larger view.] A call to action (source: Microsoft).

The call to action in the new homepage is apparently “Try TypeScript now” in a small white box.

“A lot of these changes would require substantial design exploration, but we felt like the call to action for the title could be applied to the existing design and then migrated to the new site,” Orta Therox said. , engineer on the TypeScript compiler. team, in an Aug. 24 post. “What we found tricky was that we felt a tension because there isn’t a single link that we can always recommend. People wanted to either try out TypeScript in the browser or learn how to run it locally. on their computer. We did some A/B testing to see if there was a preference for new users to the homepage, but the results came in more or less 50/50. This led to a design where we have a single call to action in the title — but instead of taking you to either site, we provide a space explaining the two potential options.”

In last year’s redesign, the two potential options were presented in two small white boxes:

The 2020 redesign
[Click on image for larger view.] The 2020 redesign (source: Microsoft).

Other highlights of the new homepage redesign include:

  • Reduce the amount of text on the page. Each section now contains key information in bold. This makes the page scannable and the contrast adds a pop of color considering the next step.
  • Limit the color palette to the blue of the TypeScript logo (a hue change from JavaScript’s yellow) and shades of white and black.
  • Creating a mid-point starting point, if you think you know enough about TypeScript, there are probably 3 places you want to go: to the documentation, the playground to try in your browser, or learn how to use it. ‘run on your computer.
  • Replaced footer content with a starting point at the end of the page with the same links but a modified design to fit the footer, removing annoying links for beginners.
  • The copy starts by focusing on the developer’s experience using TypeScript, then transitions to give you a better understanding of the types of primitives in TypeScript and how they convert to JavaScript.

Feedback on the redesign can be submitted in the TypeScript-Website repository on GitHub.

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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