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Aaron Lara
I'm a Java developer who drinks coffee and transforms it in code (Awesome, right?!). I have been working at genuitec as a developer since December, 2011. Programming really cool stuff :) ... Ah I'm a gamer, so if you want to play something in steam just let me know :D
Posted on Nov 24th 2015

Update: Since this article was initially published, Genuitec has added advanced TypeScript support to their free Eclipse plugin, Webclipse. Give it a try!

TypeScript is an open source superset of JavaScript that adds class based objects that compile to JavaScript plain code. Currently there are two main options to support TypeScript in Eclipse. I’m going to discuss their features and pros and cons of each.

Palantir’s TypeScript (Version 1.6.0.v20151006)

This plugin offers minimal support for TypeScript and uses the official TypeScript compiler.

palantir

Example of Palantir’s TypeScript

Pros

  • Installation is simple

Cons

  • Outline view doesn’t display return type and arguments for methods
  • “Open definition” doesn’t work for standard types and it doesn’t support definitions file
  • Limited documentation

TypEcs (Version 4.0)

This plugin polishes some of the rough edges of the Palantir plugin and adds some interesting features like debug support for Node.js and web apps.

typecs

Example of TypEcs TypeScript

Pros

  • Installation is simple
  • Better highlighting support than Palantir plugin
  • Adds New>TypeScript file menu item
  • Open Declaration works as expected
  • Debug support for Node.js and web projects
  • More attractive TypeScript file icons
  • Helpful documentation with screenshots and feature descriptions
  • Continuous updates

Cons

  • Outline view doesn’t display return type and arguments for methods

Comparison of Features

The following table shows the features for both of the plugins:


Palantir

TypEcs

Code completion

Compile-on-save

Cross-project compilation

Error annotations/markers

Find references

Format code

Highlight matching brace

Hover for JSDoc

Mark occurrences

Open definition

Outline view

Quick outline

Rename refactor

Syntax highlighting

Task tags

Toggle comment

Node.js and WebRemote debug support

Conclusion

The current options for supporting TypeScript in Eclipse are limited. In my opinion, the best option is to use TypEcs for TypeScript support in Eclipse since it improves upon Palantir’s plugin by adding the debug support for Node.js and WebRemote. 

Thanks to Sal Cabrera for his assistance in this article. 

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