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TypeScript and Gatsby

Examples

  • Using Typescript
  • Using vanilla-extract

Introduction

TypeScript is a JavaScript superset which extends the language to include type definitions allowing codebases to be statically checked for soundness. Gatsby provides an integrated experience out of the box, similar to an IDE. If you are new to TypeScript, adoption can and should be incremental. Since Gatsby natively supports JavaScript and TypeScript, you can change files from .js/.jsx to .ts/.tsx at any point to start adding types and gaining the benefits of a type system.

To see all of the types available and their generics look at our TypeScript definition file.

Initializing a new project with TypeScript

You can get started with TypeScript and Gatsby by using the CLI:

In the prompts, select TypeScript as your preferred language. You can also pass a ts flag to the above command to skip that question and use TypeScript:

Usage in Gatsby

PageProps

The example above uses the power of TypeScript, in combination with exported types from Gatsby (PageProps) to tell this code what props is. This can greatly improve your developer experience by letting your IDE show you what properties are injected by Gatsby.

PageProps can receive a couple of generics, most notably the DataType one. This way you can type the resulting data prop.

gatsby-browser.tsx / gatsby-ssr.tsx

Support added in gatsby@4.8.0

You can also write gatsby-browser and gatsby-ssr in TypeScript. You have the types GatsbyBrowser and GatsbySSR available to type your API functions. Here are two examples:

getServerData

You can use GetServerData, GetServerDataProps, and GetServerDataReturn for getServerData.

If you’re using an anonymous function, you can also use the shorthand GetServerData type like this:

gatsby-config.ts

Support added in gatsby@4.9.0

You can import the type GatsbyConfig to type your config object. Please note: There are currently no type hints for plugins and you’ll need to check the current limitations and see if they apply to your gatsby-config.ts file.

Read the Gatsby Config API documentation to learn more about its different options.

gatsby-node.ts

Support added in gatsby@4.9.0

You can import the type GatsbyNode to type your APIs by accessing keys on GatsbyNode, e.g. GatsbyNode["sourceNodes"]. Please note: You’ll need to check the current limitations and see if they apply to your gatsby-node.ts file.

Read the Gatsby Node APIs documentation to learn more about its different APIs.

Local Plugins

Support added in gatsby@4.9.0

All the files mentioned above can also be written and used inside a local plugin.

tsconfig.json

Essentially, the tsconfig.json file is used in tools external to Gatsby e.g Testing Frameworks like Jest, Code editors and Linting libraries like EsLint to enable them handle TypeScript correctly. You can use the tsconfig.json from our gatsby-minimal-starter-ts.

Type Hinting in JS Files

You can still take advantage of type hinting in JavaScript files with JSdoc by importing types directly from Gatsby. You need to use a text exitor that supports those type hints.

Usage in gatsby-config.js

Usage in gatsby-node.js

Styling

vanilla-extract helps you write type‑safe, locally scoped classes, variables and themes. It’s a great solution when it comes to styling in your TypeScript project. To use vanilla-extract, select it as your preferred styling solution when initializing your project with npm init gatsby. You can also manually setup your project through gatsby-plugin-vanilla-extract or use the vanilla-extract example.

Migrating to TypeScript

Gatsby natively supports JavaScript and TypeScript, you can change files from .js/.jsx to .ts/ tsx at any point to start adding types and gaining the benefits of a type system. But you’ll need to do a bit more to be able use Typescipt in gatsby-* files:

  • Run gatsby clean to remove any old artifacts
  • Convert your .js/.jsx files to .ts/.tsx
  • Install @types/node, @types/react, @types/react-dom, typescript as devDependencies
  • Add a tsconfig.json file using npx tsc --init or use the one from gatsby-minimal-starter-ts
  • Rename gatsby-* files:
    • gatsby-node.js to gatsby-node.ts
    • gatsby-config.js to gatsby-config.ts
    • gatsby-browser.js to gatsby-browser.tsx
    • gatsby-ssr.js to gatsby-ssr.tsx
  • Address any of the current limitations

If you’ve used other ways of using TypeScript in the past, you’ll also want to read migrating away from old workarounds.

Current limitations

There are some limitations currently that you need to be aware of. We’ll do our best to mitigate them in our code, through contributions to upstream dependencies, and updates to our documentation.

Parcel TypeScript features

Parcel is used for the compilation and it currently has limitations on TypeScript features, namely:

  • No support for baseUrl or paths inside tsconfig.json
  • It implicitly enables the isolatedModules option by default

__dirname

You can’t use __dirname and __filename in your files. You’ll need to replace these instances with a path.resolve call. Example diff for a gatsby-config file:

Progress on this is tracked in Parcel #7611.

require.resolve

You can’t use require.resolve in your files. You’ll need to replace these instances with a path.resolve call. Example diff for a gatsby-node file:

Progress on this is tracked in Parcel #6925.

Other

  • Workspaces (e.g. Yarn) are not supported. We’ll add documentation on how to use this feature inside a workspace soon.
  • When changing siteMetadata in gatsby-config no hot-reloading will occur during gatsby develop. A restart is needed at the moment.

Other Resources

TypeScript integration for pages is supported through automatically including gatsby-plugin-typescript. Visit that link to see configuration options and limitations of this setup.

If you are new to TypeScript, check out these other resources to learn more:

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