I have reĀ­cently taken an inĀ­terĀ­est in TypeScript. Not just beĀ­cause it brings feaĀ­tures that are conĀ­sidĀ­ered esĀ­senĀ­tial to proĀ­ducĀ­tion-grade apĀ­pliĀ­caĀ­tions, but also beĀ­cause it makes usĀ­ing a code edĀ­iĀ­tor such as Atom or VS Code more useĀ­ful for me.

However, I was not very keen on the idea of conĀ­figĀ­urĀ­ing the TypeScript comĀ­piler on every proĀ­ject I wanted just for type anĀ­noĀ­taĀ­tions and auĀ­toĀ­comĀ­plete sugĀ­gesĀ­tions. Code edĀ­iĀ­tors alĀ­ready have come a long way when it comes to sugĀ­gesĀ­tions, but I also wanted to inĀ­creĀ­menĀ­tally adopt my own type deĀ­fĀ­iĀ­nĀ­iĀ­tions, thus reĀ­movĀ­ing my reĀ­liance on some very smart guesses by a code edĀ­iĀ­tor.

So, funĀ­nily enough, while goĀ­ing through some code beĀ­hind IndieKit, a Micropub server I am usĀ­ing while buildĀ­ing Celestial, I was inĀ­trigued by a very disĀ­tincĀ­tive comĀ­ment block just beĀ­fore some funcĀ­tion deĀ­fĀ­iĀ­nĀ­iĀ­tions.

Hereā€™s what it looks like:

/**
* @param {boolean} update - updates the logged in state
* @returns {boolean} - returns a success/error indicator
*/

This wasĀ­nā€™t the first time I saw it in open source proĀ­jects. However, it defĀ­iĀ­nitely was the first time I wanted to exĀ­plore this. There is a sense of longeĀ­tivĀ­ity in wantĀ­ing to self docĀ­uĀ­ment code withĀ­out the adĀ­diĀ­tional burĀ­den and build step of a comĀ­piler. Or leavĀ­ing comĀ­ments everyĀ­where with no sense of orĀ­gaĀ­niĀ­zaĀ­tion to it.

This comĀ­ment block comes from JSDoc. An inĀ­tended use-case is genĀ­erĀ­atĀ­ing an HTML docĀ­uĀ­ment based on all your JSDoc deĀ­fĀ­iĀ­nĀ­iĀ­tions. Make freshly hired deĀ­velĀ­opĀ­ers happy! šŸ˜Š

VS Code ofĀ­fers built-in inĀ­teĀ­graĀ­tion. Typing /** will lead it to sugĀ­gest a JSDoc block. Hit enĀ­ter and youā€™re on your way. Type @ and you get a bunch of tag sugĀ­gesĀ­tions. It unĀ­derĀ­stands most of JSDoc, though I have come across inĀ­stances where it fell short from the docĀ­uĀ­menĀ­taĀ­tion.

Okay, so your proĀ­ject has grown a bit. Quite a bit. Itā€™s time to use TypeScript but your code is now unĀ­hapĀ­pily litĀ­tered with JSDoc. Worry not; VS Code ofĀ­fers you an opĀ­tion to inĀ­fer type anĀ­noĀ­taĀ­tions from JSDoc and fill them in for you. So cool, right?

Iā€™ll leave you to exĀ­plore it, posĀ­siĀ­bly learn and start usĀ­ing it. It does cirĀ­cumĀ­vent the TypeScript tax for simĀ­ple proĀ­jects — perĀ­haps even mid-size proĀ­jects.