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Type Up Your React Hooks with TypeScript for Productive and Safer App Development



February 25, 2023


February 25, 2023

TypeScript has quickly gained popularity in the JavaScript community by introducing the age-old concept of types to our beloved language. Despite being around since 2012 (which is practically ancient in frontend development years), it has only recently gained widespread adoption, and its popularity has grown significantly over the past two years.

It's no wonder that developers are now exploring how to utilize React Hooks with TypeScript to improve type safety. With React Hooks gaining increasing popularity as a powerful tool for state management in React applications, it makes perfect sense to combine these two technologies.

Before delving deeper into TypeScript and React Hooks, let's first gain a better understanding of TypeScript and its key features.

TypeScript and its key features

TypeScript is an open-source programming language developed by Microsoft. It is a strongly typed superset of JavaScript, which means that it adds additional features to the existing JavaScript language. 

Here are some of TypeScript's key features:

Static Typing:

TypeScript provides a way to add static typing to JavaScript, which can help catch errors at compile time rather than runtime. This can help prevent bugs and make it easier to write and maintain large

Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) Features: 

TypeScript is an object-oriented programming language, which means that it supports features like classes, interfaces, and inheritance. These features can help make code more organized and maintainable.

Compatibility with JavaScript:

TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript, which means that any valid JavaScript code is also valid TypeScript code. This makes it easy to add TypeScript to existing JavaScript projects.

Tooling and Editor Support: 

TypeScript provides better tooling and editor support than JavaScript, including things like code completion, error checking, and refactoring tools.

Improved Readability:

TypeScript's use of static typing can help make code more readable and self-documenting, which can make it easier for other developers to understand and work with.

Better Developer Experience:

TypeScript can improve the developer experience by providing better error messages, improved code quality, and better tooling. This can help developers work more efficiently and with fewer errors.

All these features make TypeScript a better option for some developers than JavaScript. However, choosing JavaScript or TypeScript ultimately depends on the needs and preferences of the individual developer or development team.

TypeScript and React Hooks

React Hooks have become a popular way to manage state and side-effects in React applications. They offer a simple and elegant solution to the problems that class components often face. However, using hooks without any type annotations can lead to confusion and errors. That's where TypeScript comes in.

TypeScript is a superset of JavaScript that adds optional static typing to the language. By using TypeScript, we can add type annotations to our React hooks, which makes our code safer and more productive. 

Let's explore how to use TypeScript to write safer and more productive React hooks.

Basic TypeScript Setup for React Hooks

To get started with TypeScript and React hooks, we need to set up our environment. First, we need to install TypeScript as a development dependency in our project.

npm install typescript --save-dev

Once TypeScript is installed, we can create a tsconfig.json file at the root of our project. This file tells TypeScript how to compile our code

    "jsx": "react",
    "esModuleInterop": true,
    "lib": ["dom", "esnext"],
    "module": "commonjs",
    "target": "es5",
    "moduleResolution": "node",
    "strict": true,
    "sourceMap": true

The jsx option tells TypeScript that we're using React. The esModuleInterop option is needed for interoperability with libraries that use CommonJS modules. The lib option specifies the libraries that TypeScript should include when compiling our code. 

Next, the module option specifies the module format that TypeScript should use. The target option specifies the version of ECMAScript that we're targeting. The moduleResolution option specifies how TypeScript should resolve module imports. The strict option enables strict type-checking. Finally, the sourceMap option generates source maps for our compiled code.

Basics of annotating types and states to React Hooks in TypeScript

TypeScript is a statically typed superset of JavaScript that provides type annotations and other advanced features for building scalable and robust applications. When using React Hooks in a TypeScript environment, it's important to properly annotate the types of the state and props that are being used.

Here are the basic steps for adding type annotations to React Hooks in a TypeScript environment:

1. Define the type of the state or props that will be used in the component. For example, if the component has a state that is an object with two properties, count and message, the type definition would look like this:

interface State {
  count: number;
  message: string;

2. Use the useState or useReducer hook to create the state object, and provide the type definition as a generic parameter. For example, to create the state object defined above, the code would look like this:

const [state, setState] = useState({ count: 0, message: '' });

3.If the component has props that need to be typed, define the type of the props using an interface. For example:

interface Props {
  title: string;
  onClick: () => void;

4. Pass the props to the component and provide the type definition as a generic parameter. 

For example:

const MyComponent: React.FC = ({ title, onClick }) => {
  // Component logic goes here

Overall,  type annotations in React Hooks with TypeScript involve defining interfaces for the state and props, using the generic parameter to provide the type definition to the hooks, and using the React.FC interface to define the type of the component's props.

Summing Up:

Using TypeScript for React Hooks can help developers write more robust, maintainable code that's easier to understand and work with. It helps catch type-related errors at compile time, improve code readability, simplify code refactoring, can generate better documentation, and more.

Well, if you are building a React application try DhiWise to speed up your app development. The platform soon coming with TypeScript support. 

Sign up with DhiWise and stay tuned for the upcoming announcement.