TypeScriptTypeScript Core Types

Syntax

  • let variableName: VariableType;
  • function functionName(parameterName: VariableType, parameterWithDefault: VariableType = ParameterDefault, optionalParameter?: VariableType, ...variardicParameter: VariableType[]): ReturnType { /*...*/};

Boolean

A boolean represents the most basic datatype in TypeScript, with the purpose of assigning true/false values.

// set with initial value (either true or false)
let isTrue: boolean = true;        

// defaults to 'undefined', when not explicitely set
let unsetBool: boolean;             

// can also be set to 'null' as well
let nullableBool: boolean = null;

Number

Like JavaScript, numbers are floating point values.

let pi: number = 3.14;           // base 10 decimal by default
let hexadecimal: number = 0xFF;  // 255 in decimal

ECMAScript 2015 allows binary and octal.

let binary: number = 0b10;   // 2 in decimal
let octal: number = 0o755;   // 493 in decimal

String

Textual data type:

let singleQuotes: string = 'single';
let doubleQuotes: string = "double";
let templateString: string = `I am ${ singleQuotes }`; // I am single

Array

An array of values:

let threePigs: number[] = [1, 2, 3];
let genericStringArray: Array<string> = ['first', '2nd', '3rd'];

Enum

A type to name a set of numeric values:

Number values default to 0:

enum Day { Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday };
let bestDay: Day = Day.Saturday;

Set a default starting number:

enum TenPlus { Ten = 10, Eleven, Twelve }

or assign values:

enum MyOddSet { Three = 3, Five = 5, Seven = 7, Nine = 9 } 

Any

When unsure of a type, any is available:

let anything: any = 'I am a string';
anything = 5; // but now I am the number 5

Void

If you have no type at all, commonly used for functions that do not return anything:

function log(): void {
    console.log('I return nothing');
}

void types Can only be assigned null or undefined.

Tuple

Array type with known and possibly different types:

let day: [number, string];
day = [0, 'Monday'];      // valid
day = ['zero', 'Monday']; // invalid: 'zero' is not numeric
console.log(day[0]); // 0
console.log(day[1]); // Monday

day[2] = 'Saturday'; // valid: [0, 'Saturday']
day[3] = false;      // invalid: must be union type of 'number | string'

Types in function arguments and return value. Number

When you create a function in TypeScript you can specify the data type of the function's arguments and the data type for the return value

Example:

function sum(x: number, y: number): number {
    return x + y;
}

Here the syntax x: number, y: number means that the function can accept two argumentsx and y and they can only be numbers and (...): number { means that the return value can only be a number

Usage:

sum(84 + 76) // will be return 160

Note:

You can not do so

function sum(x: string, y: string): number {
    return x + y;
}

or

function sum(x: number, y: number): string {
    return x + y;
}

it will receive the following errors:

error TS2322: Type 'string' is not assignable to type 'number' and error TS2322: Type 'number' is not assignable to type 'string' respectively

Types in function arguments and return value. String

Example:

function hello(name: string): string {
    return `Hello ${name}!`;
}

Here the syntax name: string means that the function can accept one name argument and this argument can only be string and (...): string { means that the return value can only be a string

Usage:

hello('StackOverflow Documentation') // will be return Hello StackOverflow Documentation!

String Literal Types

String literal types allow you to specify the exact value a string can have.

let myFavoritePet: "dog";
myFavoritePet = "dog";

Any other string will give a error.

// Error: Type '"rock"' is not assignable to type '"dog"'.
// myFavoritePet = "rock";

Together with Type Aliases and Union Types you get a enum-like behavior.

type Species = "cat" | "dog" | "bird";

function buyPet(pet: Species, name: string) : Pet { /*...*/ }

buyPet(myFavoritePet /* "dog" as defined above */, "Rocky");

// Error: Argument of type '"rock"' is not assignable to parameter of type "'cat' | "dog" | "bird". Type '"rock"' is not assignable to type '"bird"'.
// buyPet("rock", "Rocky");

String Literal Types can be used to distinguish overloads.

function buyPet(pet: Species, name: string) : Pet;
function buyPet(pet: "cat", name: string): Cat;
function buyPet(pet: "dog", name: string): Dog;
function buyPet(pet: "bird", name: string): Bird;
function buyPet(pet: Species, name: string) : Pet { /*...*/ }

let dog = buyPet(myFavoritePet /* "dog" as defined above */, "Rocky");
// dog is from type Dog (dog: Dog)

They works well for User-Defined Type Guards.

interface Pet {
    species: Species;
    eat();
    sleep();
}

interface Cat extends Pet {
    species: "cat";
}

interface Bird extends Pet {
    species: "bird";
    sing();
}

function petIsCat(pet: Pet): pet is Cat {
    return pet.species === "cat";
}

function petIsBird(pet: Pet): pet is Bird {
    return pet.species === "bird";
}

function playWithPet(pet: Pet){
    if(petIsCat(pet)) {
        // pet is now from type Cat (pet: Cat)
        pet.eat();
        pet.sleep();
    } else if(petIsBird(pet)) {
        // pet is now from type Bird (pet: Bird)
        pet.eat();
        pet.sing();
        pet.sleep();
    }
}

Full example code

let myFavoritePet: "dog";
myFavoritePet = "dog";

// Error: Type '"rock"' is not assignable to type '"dog"'.
// myFavoritePet = "rock";

type Species = "cat" | "dog" | "bird";

interface Pet {
    species: Species;
    name: string;
    eat();
    walk();
    sleep();
}

interface Cat extends Pet {
    species: "cat";
}

interface Dog extends Pet {
    species: "dog";
}

interface Bird extends Pet {
    species: "bird";
    sing();
}

// Error: Interface 'Rock' incorrectly extends interface 'Pet'. Types of property 'species' are incompatible. Type '"rock"' is not assignable to type '"cat" | "dog" | "bird"'. Type '"rock"' is not assignable to type '"bird"'.
// interface Rock extends Pet { 
//      type: "rock"; 
// }

function buyPet(pet: Species, name: string) : Pet;
function buyPet(pet: "cat", name: string): Cat;
function buyPet(pet: "dog", name: string): Dog;
function buyPet(pet: "bird", name: string): Bird;
function buyPet(pet: Species, name: string) : Pet {
    if(pet === "cat") { 
        return {
            species: "cat",
            name: name,
            eat: function () {
                console.log(`${this.name} eats.`);
            }, walk: function () {
                console.log(`${this.name} walks.`);
            }, sleep: function () {
                console.log(`${this.name} sleeps.`);
            }
        } as Cat;
    } else if(pet === "dog") { 
        return {
            species: "dog",
            name: name,
            eat: function () {
                console.log(`${this.name} eats.`);
            }, walk: function () {
                console.log(`${this.name} walks.`);
            }, sleep: function () {
                console.log(`${this.name} sleeps.`);
            }
        } as Dog;
    } else if(pet === "bird") { 
        return {
            species: "bird",
            name: name,
            eat: function () {
                console.log(`${this.name} eats.`);
            }, walk: function () {
                console.log(`${this.name} walks.`);
            }, sleep: function () {
                console.log(`${this.name} sleeps.`);
            }, sing: function () {
                console.log(`${this.name} sings.`);
            }
        } as Bird;
    } else {
        throw `Sorry we don't have a ${pet}. Would you like to buy a dog?`;
    }
}

function petIsCat(pet: Pet): pet is Cat {
    return pet.species === "cat";
}

function petIsDog(pet: Pet): pet is Dog {
    return pet.species === "dog";
}

function petIsBird(pet: Pet): pet is Bird {
    return pet.species === "bird";
}

function playWithPet(pet: Pet) {
    console.log(`Hey ${pet.name}, let's play.`);
    
    if(petIsCat(pet)) {
        // pet is now from type Cat (pet: Cat)
        
        pet.eat();
        pet.sleep();
        
        // Error: Type '"bird"' is not assignable to type '"cat"'.
        // pet.type = "bird";
        
        // Error: Property 'sing' does not exist on type 'Cat'.
        // pet.sing();
        
    } else if(petIsDog(pet)) {
        // pet is now from type Dog (pet: Dog)
        
        pet.eat();
        pet.walk();
        pet.sleep();
        
    } else if(petIsBird(pet)) {
        // pet is now from type Bird (pet: Bird)
    
        pet.eat();
        pet.sing();
        pet.sleep();
    } else {
        throw "An unknown pet. Did you buy a rock?";
    }
}

let dog = buyPet(myFavoritePet /* "dog" as defined above */, "Rocky");
// dog is from type Dog (dog: Dog)

// Error: Argument of type '"rock"' is not assignable to parameter of type "'cat' | "dog" | "bird". Type '"rock"' is not assignable to type '"bird"'.
// buyPet("rock", "Rocky");

playWithPet(dog);
// Output: Hey Rocky, let's play.
//         Rocky eats.
//         Rocky walks.
//         Rocky sleeps.

Intersection Types

A Intersection Type combines the member of two or more types.

interface Knife {
    cut();
}

interface BottleOpener{
    openBottle();
}

interface Screwdriver{
    turnScrew();
}

type SwissArmyKnife = Knife & BottleOpener & Screwdriver;

function use(tool: SwissArmyKnife){
    console.log("I can do anything!");
    
    tool.cut();
    tool.openBottle();
    tool.turnScrew();
}

const Enum

A const Enum is the same as a normal Enum. Except that no Object is generated at compile time. Instead, the literal values are substituted where the const Enum is used.

// Typescript: A const Enum can be defined like a normal Enum (with start value, specifig values, etc.)
const enum NinjaActivity {
    Espionage, 
    Sabotage, 
    Assassination
}

// Javascript: But nothing is generated    

// Typescript: Except if you use it
let myFavoriteNinjaActivity = NinjaActivity.Espionage;
console.log(myFavoritePirateActivity); // 0

// Javascript: Then only the number of the value is compiled into the code
// var myFavoriteNinjaActivity = 0 /* Espionage */;
// console.log(myFavoritePirateActivity); // 0

// Typescript: The same for the other constant example
console.log(NinjaActivity["Sabotage"]); // 1   

// Javascript: Just the number and in a comment the name of the value
// console.log(1 /* "Sabotage" */); // 1

// Typescript: But without the object none runtime access is possible
// Error: A const enum member can only be accessed using a string literal.
// console.log(NinjaActivity[myFavoriteNinjaActivity]);

For comparison, a normal Enum

// Typescript: A normal Enum
enum PirateActivity {
    Boarding,
    Drinking, 
    Fencing 
} 

// Javascript: The Enum after the compiling
// var PirateActivity;
// (function (PirateActivity) {
//     PirateActivity[PirateActivity["Boarding"] = 0] = "Boarding";
//     PirateActivity[PirateActivity["Drinking"] = 1] = "Drinking";
//     PirateActivity[PirateActivity["Fencing"] = 2] = "Fencing";
// })(PirateActivity || (PirateActivity = {}));

// Typescript: A normale use of this Enum
let myFavoritePirateActivity = PirateActivity.Boarding;
console.log(myFavoritePirateActivity); // 0

// Javascript: Looks quite similar in Javascript
// var myFavoritePirateActivity = PirateActivity.Boarding;
// console.log(myFavoritePirateActivity); // 0

// Typescript: And some other normale use
console.log(PirateActivity["Drinking"]); // 1

// Javascript: Looks quite similar in Javascript
// console.log(PirateActivity["Drinking"]); // 1

// Typescript: At runtime, you can access an normal enum
console.log(PirateActivity[myFavoritePirateActivity]); // "Boarding"

// Javascript: And it will be resolved at runtime
// console.log(PirateActivity[myFavoritePirateActivity]); // "Boarding"