DEV Community πŸ‘©β€πŸ’»πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’»

Discussion on: We don't have to use Enums on TypeScript? 【Discussion】

Collapse
peerreynders profile image
peerreynders

since it's much less code

I feel this gets bandied about a lot in TypeScript circles as if "less code" is always an absolute net win under all circumstancesβ€”perhaps it's an over-generalization/simplification of the "less code, less bugs" slogan or some kind of hangover from the verbosity of Java.

Whether or not "less code" is an advantage is, as with everything, highly context sensitive.

  • less code is an advantage if no capabilities are lost and no information is obscured.
  • less code is a trade off if capabilities are reduced or information is obscured. Now any one individual may not care about the capabilities or information that are being lost but those preferences can be subjective.

For example, in general one is encouraged not to specify the return type of a function in TypeScript. I argue that the return type of a function is part of the function's type and as such is part of its design and should therefore be made explicit (and Rust seems to have the same idea).

Effective Typescript (p.85):

"Similar considerations apply to a function’s return type. You may still want to annotate this even when it can be inferred to ensure that implementation errors don’t leak out into uses of the function."

(The fact that an IDE will show the return type is irrelevant if most of your code reading occurs on Github).

Also note that when you use a union:

const foo: BigTech = 'Google';
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

i.e. you need to declare the TypeScript type otherwise TypeScript will assume that it is dealing with a primitive string. Compare that to:

const foo = bigTechz.Google;
Enter fullscreen mode Exit fullscreen mode

i.e. with the "JavaScript-style object namespacing a group of values approach" TypeScript has all the information it needs to know what is going onβ€”it isn't necessary to supply TypeScript specific information.

So while the union may be less verbose at the site of declaration there is little difference at the site of use.

Now I suspect that I'm in the minority because I prefer the JavaScript version but I don't use TypeScript as a language but as a JavaScript dialect that occasionally makes type information more explicit so that "TypeScript the super-linter" can do its job, so I like to stay as close as possible to the "source material"β€”though occasionally I may choose to leave explicit type information for my own benefit.