TypeScript 3.2


TypeScript 3.2 introduces a new --strictBindCallApply compiler option (in the --strict family of options) with which the bind, call, and apply methods on function objects are strongly typed and strictly checked.

function foo(a: number, b: string): string { return a + b; } let a = foo.apply(undefined, [10]); // error: too few argumnts let b = foo.apply(undefined, [10, 20]); // error: 2nd argument is a number let c = foo.apply(undefined, [10, "hello", 30]); // error: too many arguments let d = foo.apply(undefined, [10, "hello"]); // okay! returns a string

This is achieved by introducing two new types, CallableFunction and NewableFunction, in lib.d.ts. These types contain specialized generic method declarations for bind, call, and apply for regular functions and constructor functions, respectively. The declarations use generic rest parameters (see #24897) to capture and reflect parameter lists in a strongly typed manner. In --strictBindCallApply mode these declarations are used in place of the (very permissive) declarations provided by type Function.


Since the stricter checks may uncover previously unreported errors, this is a breaking change in --strict mode.

Additionally, another caveat of this new functionality is that due to certain limitations, bind, call, and apply can’t yet fully model generic functions or functions that have overloads. When using these methods on a generic function, type parameters will be substituted with the empty object type ({}), and when used on a function with overloads, only the last overload will ever be modeled.

Generic spread expressions in object literals

In TypeScript 3.2, object literals now allow generic spread expressions which now produce intersection types, similar to the Object.assign function and JSX literals. For example:

function taggedObject<T, U extends string>(obj: T, tag: U) { return { ...obj, tag }; // T & { tag: U } } let x = taggedObject({ x: 10, y: 20 }, "point"); // { x: number, y: number } & { tag: "point" }

Property assignments and non-generic spread expressions are merged to the greatest extent possible on either side of a generic spread expression. For example:

function foo1<T>(t: T, obj1: { a: string }, obj2: { b: string }) { return { ...obj1, x: 1, ...t, ...obj2, y: 2 }; // { a: string, x: number } & T & { b: string, y: number } }

Non-generic spread expressions continue to be processed as before: Call and construct signatures are stripped, only non-method properties are preserved, and for properties with the same name, the type of the rightmost property is used. This contrasts with intersection types which concatenate call and construct signatures, preserve all properties, and intersect the types of properties with the same name. Thus, spreads of the same types may produce different results when they are created through instantiation of generic types:

function spread<T, U>(t: T, u: U) { return { ...t, ...u }; // T & U } declare let x: { a: string; b: number }; declare let y: { b: string; c: boolean }; let s1 = { ...x, ...y }; // { a: string, b: string, c: boolean } let s2 = spread(x, y); // { a: string, b: number } & { b: string, c: boolean } let b1 = s1.b; // string let b2 = s2.b; // number & string

Generic object rest variables and parameters

TypeScript 3.2 also allows destructuring a rest binding from a generic variable. This is achieved by using the predefined Pick and Exclude helper types from lib.d.ts, and using the generic type in question as well as the names of the other bindings in the destructuring pattern.

function excludeTag<T extends { tag: string }>(obj: T) { let { tag, ...rest } = obj; return rest; // Pick<T, Exclude<keyof T, "tag">> } const taggedPoint = { x: 10, y: 20, tag: "point" }; const point = excludeTag(taggedPoint); // { x: number, y: number }


BigInts are part of an upcoming proposal in ECMAScript that allow us to model theoretically arbitrarily large integers. TypeScript 3.2 brings type-checking for BigInts, as well as support for emitting BigInt literals when targeting esnext.

BigInt support in TypeScript introduces a new primitive type called the bigint (all lowercase). You can get a bigint by calling the BigInt() function or by writing out a BigInt literal by adding an n to the end of any integer numeric literal:

let foo: bigint = BigInt(100); // the BigInt function let bar: bigint = 100n; // a BigInt literal // *Slaps roof of fibonacci function* // This bad boy returns ints that can get *so* big! function fibonacci(n: bigint) { let result = 1n; for (let last = 0n, i = 0n; i < n; i++) { const current = result; result += last; last = current; } return result; } fibonacci(10000n);

While you might imagine close interaction between number and bigint, the two are separate domains.

declare let foo: number; declare let bar: bigint; foo = bar; // error: Type 'bigint' is not assignable to type 'number'. bar = foo; // error: Type 'number' is not assignable to type 'bigint'.

As specified in ECMAScript, mixing numbers and bigints in arithmetic operations is an error. You’ll have to explicitly convert values to BigInts.

console.log(3.141592 * 10000n); // error console.log(3145 * 10n); // error console.log(BigInt(3145) * 10n); // okay!

Also important to note is that bigints produce a new string when using the typeof operator: the string "bigint". Thus, TypeScript correctly narrows using typeof as you’d expect.

function whatKindOfNumberIsIt(x: number | bigint) { if (typeof x === "bigint") { console.log("'x' is a bigint!"); } else { console.log("'x' is a floating-point number"); } }

We’d like to extend a huge thanks to Caleb Sander for all the work on this feature. We’re grateful for the contribution, and we’re sure our users are too!


As we mentioned, BigInt support is only available for the esnext target. It may not be obvious, but because BigInts have different behavior for mathematical operators like +, -, *, etc., providing functionality for older targets where the feature doesn’t exist (like es2017 and below) would involve rewriting each of these operations. TypeScript would need to dispatch to the correct behavior depending on the type, and so every addition, string concatenation, multiplication, etc. would involve a function call.

For that reason, we have no immediate plans to provide downleveling support. On the bright side, Node 11 and newer versions of Chrome already support this feature, so you’ll be able to use BigInts there when targeting esnext.

Certain targets may include a polyfill or BigInt-like runtime object. For those purposes you may want to add esnext.bigint to the lib setting in your compiler options.

Non-unit types as union discriminants

TypeScript 3.2 makes narrowing easier by relaxing rules for what it considers a discriminant property. Common properties of unions are now considered discriminants as long as they contain some singleton type (e.g. a string literal, null, or undefined), and they contain no generics.

As a result, TypeScript 3.2 considers the error property in the following example to be a discriminant, whereas before it wouldn’t since Error isn’t a singleton type. Thanks to this, narrowing works correctly in the body of the unwrap function.

type Result<T> = { error: Error; data: null } | { error: null; data: T }; function unwrap<T>(result: Result<T>) { if (result.error) { // Here 'error' is non-null throw result.error; } // Now 'data' is non-null return result.data; }

tsconfig.json inheritance via Node.js packages

TypeScript 3.2 now resolves tsconfig.jsons from node_modules. When using a bare path for the "extends" field in tsconfig.json, TypeScript will dive into node_modules packages for us.

{ "extends": "@my-team/tsconfig-base", "include": ["./**/*"] "compilerOptions": { // Override certain options on a project-by-project basis. "strictBindCallApply": false, } }

Here, TypeScript will climb up node_modules folders looking for a @my-team/tsconfig-base package. For each of those packages, TypeScript will first check whether package.json contains a "tsconfig" field, and if it does, TypeScript will try to load a configuration file from that field. If neither exists, TypeScript will try to read from a tsconfig.json at the root. This is similar to the lookup process for .js files in packages that Node uses, and the .d.ts lookup process that TypeScript already uses.

This feature can be extremely useful for bigger organizations, or projects with lots of distributed dependencies.

The new --showConfig flag

tsc, the TypeScript compiler, supports a new flag called --showConfig. When running tsc --showConfig, TypeScript will calculate the effective tsconfig.json (after calculating options inherited from the extends field) and print that out. This can be useful for diagnosing configuration issues in general.

Object.defineProperty declarations in JavaScript

When writing in JavaScript files (using allowJs), TypeScript now recognizes declarations that use Object.defineProperty. This means you’ll get better completions, and stronger type-checking when enabling type-checking in JavaScript files (by turning on the checkJs option or adding a // @ts-check comment to the top of your file).

// @ts-check let obj = {}; Object.defineProperty(obj, "x", { value: "hello", writable: false }); obj.x.toLowercase(); // ~~~~~~~~~~~ // error: // Property 'toLowercase' does not exist on type 'string'. // Did you mean 'toLowerCase'? obj.x = "world"; // ~ // error: // Cannot assign to 'x' because it is a read-only property.

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Contributors to this page:

DRDaniel Rosenwasser  (52)
OTOrta Therox  (9)

Last updated: Jun 26, 2020