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    1.2.0 • Public • Published

    Temporal Types

    Typescript types for time-based fields


    THe point of optional typing in Typescript is to provide extra context to the reader of your code. But when we want to give the type of some number of seconds, days, or any other unit of time we end up just typing it as number. But what does timeout: number mean? Often we must dig into the source code to know if that timeout is in seconds or milliseconds. When writing our own code, hopefully we do better than that by documenting the time units in a comment or in the variable name itself (i.e.: timeoutSeconds: number). Doing so is just a poor trade-off for not having proper types.

    Now for use in your program, a library like js-joda may be a good choice; you can specify timeout: Duration. That's nice, but maybe a bit heavy and absolutely won't work if you want to serialize to JSON.

    This library defines typescript alias types. They are still just primitives and thus work with JSON, but provide context to your declarations. So instead of:

    class UnclearThing {
      duration: number; //in minutes
      walkSeconds: number;
      yearsWithCompany: number;
      lastChange: string;

    You can write:

    import {MillisecondsInMinute, Minutes, Seconds, Years} from "temporal-types";
    class BetterThing {
      duration: Minutes;
      walkTime: Seconds;
      timeWithCompany: Years;
      lastChange: ISODateTime;

    It's the same thing, only clearer.


    Q: Why should I introduce another dependency for a few types that I can define myself?

    A: Have you defined them? Probably not. We can do such things, but often don't.

    If you don't want a dependency, feel free to copy the lines into your own source.

    See also....

    • temporal-constants - Constants to compute with time units without magic numbers.
    • js-joda - Complete library for date and time representation and manipulation


    npm i temporal-types

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    • adamfanello