Update Jan 1st 2014. TypeScript support is back in Web Essentials!

When Web Essentials was ported to Visual Studio 2013, a lot of features were removed. This was because many of those features were built directly in to Visual Studio 2013 and therefore no longer needed support by Web Essentials. That’s not exactly the reason why the support for TypeScript was removed.

TypeScript has been evolving at a steady pace since it was released in the fall of 2012. It’s now up to version 0.9 and that means that the final 1.0 release is getting closer. The Compile on save feature introduced by Web Essentials 2012 has now been rolled into TypeScript and the feature will be broadened in the months to come. That means Compile on save will be natively available for more project types, including ASP.NET projects, in the foreseeable future. If both Web Essentials and the TypeScript tooling provide the exact same functionality, there is bound to be conflicts.

You might remember what happened when LESS and CoffeeScript tooling was moved from Web Essentials into Visual Studio 2012 Update 2. Unless you updated both at the same time, Visual Studio would crash. The Visual Studio Web Team had to write a blog post about it and even ScottGu mentioned it. It was bad. Really bad.

In order not to repeat the same mistake twice, we’ve opted for not having TypeScript tooling in Web Essentials. That’s not to say we’ll never add extra TypeScript features in Web Essentials, but it means that we are doing what we can to avoid any collisions between the two toolsets.

As a TypeScript user you should take this as a positive thing, because it means that TypeScript is getting closer to its final 1.0 release and it will have some of the features you used to rely on Web Essentials to provide.


Comment by Paul

Does that mean that the split view with the JavaScript preview will be part of the standard TypeScript toolkit? I'd hate to lose it.

Comment by Mads Kristensen

It will probably not to begin with, but the implementation of it in WE relies on the TS compiler. As soon as we know what the compiler story is, we can implement it again in WE

Comment by Jason Simone

Hi Mads, I'm a fan of your VS extensions!
FYI, I noticed that your link here from the VS Gallery is broken because it contains an '.aspx' extension. Perhaps you could rewrite urls with that extension to the extensionless URIs that you are using now?

Jason Simone

Comment by Peter Eliyahu Kornfeld

First I want to thank you for this tool - it helps me a lot...
OT - I by myself are do some tools, and I have a problem that I have to install my extension before Web Essentials, otherwise it does not work (it's true also for 2012 and 2013 version). I was though it's because I also use Microsoft Ajax Minifier, but maybe I'm wrong. I'm really interesting to investigate this problem, if not for other but to learn from it, but I have no clue, how to start. If you have some ideas I will be most grateful...