Flow vs TypeScript: What are the differences?
What is Flow? Simple project and task management for busy teams. Flow is an online collaboration platform that makes it easy for people to create, organize, discuss, and accomplish tasks with anyone, anytime, anywhere. By merging a sleek, intuitive interface with powerful functionality, we're out to revolutionize the way the world's productive teams get things done.
Flow belongs to "Project Management" category of the tech stack, while TypeScript can be primarily classified under "Templating Languages & Extensions".
TypeScript is an open source tool with 51.2K GitHub stars and 7.07K GitHub forks. Here's a link to TypeScript's open source repository on GitHub.
According to the StackShare community, TypeScript has a broader approval, being mentioned in 982 company stacks & 1455 developers stacks; compared to Flow, which is listed in 7 company stacks and 3 developer stacks.
What is Flow?
What is TypeScript?
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What are the cons of using Flow?
What are the cons of using TypeScript?
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Choosing to add TypeScript has given us one more layer to rely on to help enforce code quality, good standards, and best practices within our engineering organization. One of the biggest benefits for us as an engineering team has been how well our IDEs and editors (e.g., Visual Studio Code ) integrate with and understand TypeScript . This allows developers to catch many more errors at development time instead of relying on run time. The end result is safer (from a type perspective) code and a more efficient coding experience that helps to catch and remove errors with less developer effort.
I use TypeScript for Web Applications and for both frontend and backend because it has a lot of tooling around it and they really got the types and type safety right. Flow (JS) on the other hand lacks tooling and most of the times I scramble to find the right way of building my contracts in which TypeScript is very intuitive and natural. Additionally TypeScript is very similar to Java so your backend engineers and full stack engineers can work with it without much of context switch.
The only time I think Flow shines is (based on probably my outdated knowledge) Flow is/was the only option if you want/wanted to build a React Native application mainly because React Native transpiler at the time I was working with it would only work with flow.
I use TypeScript because the tooling is more mature (the decision to discontinue TSLint in favor of moving all its checks to ESLint is a thoughtful and mature decision), there's a ton of examples and tutorials for it, and it just generally seems to be where the industry is headed. Flow (JS) is a fine tool, but it just hasn't seen the uptake that TS has, and as a result is lacking a lot of the nicer small things, like thorough Visual Studio Code integration, offered by TS.
We currently use TypeScript at work. Previously we used Flow (JS) but it was sometimes really difficult to make the types work the way you want. Especially non-trivial types were problematic. And the IDE support wasn't good, Flow took too much resources and sometimes remain stuck and do not show errors (I use Visual Studio Code). With TypeScript we almost do not have these problems. IDE support is superb, working with types is much easier and typing system seems more mature and powerful. There are some downsides (like partion inheritance etc.), but TS team is still pushing it forward. So for me TypeScript is clear winner.
I use TypeScript because it's adoption by many developers, it's supported by many companies, and it's growth. AngularJS, React, @ASP.NET Core. I started using it in .NET Core, then for a job. Later I added more Angular experience and wrote more React software. It makes your code easier to understand and read... which means it makes other people's code easier to understand and read.
I use TypeScript because:
- incredible developer tooling and community support
- actively developed and supported by Microsoft (yes, I like Microsoft) ;)
- easier to make sense of a TS codebase because the annotations provide so much more context than plain JS
- refactors become easier (VSCode has superb support for TS)
I've switched back and forth between TS and Flow and decided a year ago to abandon Flow completely in favor of TS. I don't want to bash Flow, however, my main grievances are very poor tooling (editor integration leaves much to be desired), a slower release cycle, and subpar docs and community support.
I think our #Frontend stack is pretty standard – but we have taken some deviations from a typical modern stack:
Yarn instead of npm. When yarn debuted, we never looked back. Now npm has pretty much caught up with speed and lockfiles, but yarn gives me confidence that my dependency installs are deterministic. Really interested in the plug-n-play (PnP) feature that removes the need for a node_modules folder, but haven't implemented this yet.
Typescript has been a win because, in general, it makes codebase maintenance less brittle. It's significantly easier to refactor in TS than JS, which encourages incremental improvements, file re-organizing, etc. Our developers are happier with the overall development experience.
The downside is that TS sometimes exacerbates problems caused by Node's fragmented ecosystem. Sometimes @types/
If your project is big enough, I'd say TS is nearly always worth it, but it can make selecting libraries a pain.
Used for Node.js personal projects that I think will have a longer lifetime than others, or that are combined with a web front end component like Angular (to share types).
Generally a poor developer experience. Usage decreasing recently compared to other preferred programming languages/platforms.
TypeScript is used in Kuro (https://github.com/Marc3842h/kuro).
Excellent design-time type checking and the ability for the Typescript compiler to attach typing information to metadata at compile time allows for relatively simple type checking at run-time as well.
We, our team can sleep comfortable at night know "x is undefined" will not occur in production. It's also really helpful as IDE help in code completion when they know types.