Typescript to Rust

Date: Wed Jul 05, 2023

TypeScript and Rust are two popular programming languages that share some common features, such as rich type systems, low-level control, and high performance. TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript that adds static typing and other features to the web development language. Rust is a systems programming language that focuses on memory safety, concurrency, and speed. Both languages aim to provide a modern and expressive way of writing reliable and efficient code.

One way to leverage the benefits of both languages is to compile TypeScript to Rust, which can then be compiled to WebAssembly. WebAssembly is a binary format that can run in web browsers and other platforms, offering near-native performance and interoperability with JavaScript. By compiling TypeScript to Rust, developers can use TypeScript's familiar syntax and tooling to write web applications that run faster and safer than pure JavaScript.

There are several projects that attempt to compile TypeScript to Rust, such as **rusty-typescript** and **SWC**. These projects are still experimental and incomplete, but they show the potential of this approach. They use Rust's powerful features, such as macros, traits, enums, and pattern matching, to translate TypeScript's syntax and semantics into Rust code. They also leverage Rust's existing ecosystem of libraries and tools, such as **wasm-bindgen**³, to facilitate the integration between TypeScript and WebAssembly.

The main challenge of compiling TypeScript to Rust is to preserve the type information and behavior of TypeScript in Rust. TypeScript's type system is more flexible and dynamic than Rust's, allowing for implicit conversions, union types, optional chaining, nullish coalescing, and other features that are not available or idiomatic in Rust. Moreover, TypeScript's runtime behavior is influenced by JavaScript's quirks and legacy features, such as prototype inheritance, hoisting, scoping, coercion, and equality. These differences require careful handling and translation by the compiler.

Another challenge of compiling TypeScript to Rust is to optimize the performance and size of the generated WebAssembly code. WebAssembly is still a relatively new technology that has some limitations and trade-offs compared to native code. For example, WebAssembly does not support garbage collection or exceptions natively, which means that these features have to be implemented by the compiler or the runtime. Additionally, WebAssembly modules have to be downloaded and instantiated by the browser before they can run, which adds some overhead and latency compared to JavaScript.

Despite these challenges, compiling TypeScript to Rust has many advantages and opportunities for web development. By using Rust as an intermediate language, developers can benefit from its blazingly fast performance, powerhouse of memory safety, and other features that TypeScript and Rust have in common, such as modules, generics, iterators, async/await, and more. Furthermore, by targeting WebAssembly, developers can access new capabilities and APIs that are not possible or efficient with JavaScript alone, such as threads, SIMD instructions, file system access, and more.

In conclusion, compiling TypeScript to Rust is a promising technique that combines the best of both worlds: TypeScript's ease of use and expressiveness with Rust's speed and reliability. While this technique is still experimental and challenging, it has the potential to revolutionize web development by enabling new levels of performance and functionality for web applications.


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I love deno compile!

Tue Aug 01, 2023

Author: mr_pickle

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