CoffeeScript vs TypeScript

In previous articles, we discussed about the differences between JavaScript and CoffeeScript, as well as between JavaScript and TypeScript. Both CoffeeScript and TypeScript are programming languages that transcompiles into JavaScript. They have been designed to improve JavaScript’s weaknesses, such as readability and typing. Both can improve your productivity and code quality. So, should you use CoffeeScript or TypeScript? See the differences and comparisons between CoffeeScript and TypeScript below.

Syntax
For sure, CoffeeScript and TypeScript are very different from each other. CoffeeScript is a programming language with syntactic sugars primarily influenced by Python, Ruby, and Haskell. Brevity and readability are its biggest strengths. CoffeeScript code is very easy to read and understand. Just like Python, indentations in CoffeeScript are used to indicate code blocks (instead of ugly braces). Semicolons and parentheses are optional. People rarely use semicolons in CoffeeScript unless they really have to, but using parentheses may actually help in making the code easier to read.

On the other hand, TypeScript is a strict syntactical superset of JavaScript. It fully supports JavaScript, but it also has its own programming language that is very similar to Java and C#. TypeScript is indeed easier to read than pure JavaScript, but it is not as brief as CoffeeScript. Still, people with some background in Java or C# will actually find it very easy to use.

Typing
There is a crucial discrepancy between CoffeeScript and TypeScript. While CoffeeScript provides better brevity and readability, it is still dynamically typed, just like JavaScript. So, it will not provide compile-time type safety, if that is what you are looking for. TypeScript, on the other hand, provides optional static typing, which is certainly a great help for compile-time type safety.

Supports for JavaScript and ECMAScript Standards
CoffeeScript is a different programming language from JavaScript. It will not recognize JavaScript code blocks, even though it transcompiles into JavaScript nonetheless.

Meanwhile, TypeScript is a strict superset of JavaScript – TypeScript can recognize and run all JavaScript code blocks (as long as they are written properly, of course). Though mixing TypeScript and JavaScript codes is not recommended, as it can be confusing, it is still handy if you somehow need to add legacy code. In addition, TypeScript comes with Node.js support and many features of the latest ECMAScript standard, such as classes, modules, and the arrow function syntax.

CoffeeScriptTypeScript
- Influenced primarily by Python, Ruby, and Haskell- Influenced primarily by Java and C#
- Better brevity and readability- Brevity and readability are not as great, though better than JavaScript
- Dynamic typing- Has optional static typing
- Does not recognize JavaScript code blocks- Recognizes JavaScript code blocks
- Does not support the latest ECMAScript standard- Meets the latest ECMAScript standard

Conclusion
CoffeeScript’s advantages are its brevity and readability. It is an excellent choice if you just need to write faster and cleaner JavaScript codes. It is influenced by Python, Ruby, and Haskell. However, you should choose TypeScript if you need the static typing, Node.js support, compatibility with the latest ECMAScript standard, or JavaScript code support. You may also find TypeScript easier to use if you have more experience in Java or C#.

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