Sunday, 7 August 2016

How to use TypeScript with FlotCharts or any other external JavaScript library

I've started using TypeScript recently and I wanted to interact with FlotCharts. I had two questions on my mind:
  1. How does non TypeScript library interact with TypeScript app?
  2. How do I use FlotCharts now? Has the interface completely changed? 
This article will answer these questions and provide you with two implementation examples.


Step 1:

Get the FlotChart Type definition file. You can do this via NuGet by invoking this command: 
Install-Package flot.TypeScript.DefinitelyTyped. 

Type definition file is just an interface that is used to interact with the native JavaScript code. 


Step 2:

Get the actual FlotCharts library. You can do this via NuGet by invoking this command:
Install-Package flot 


Step 3:

Check your "Scripts" folder structure, it should look something like this:



Step 4:

Take a look at the query.flot interfaces, they can be found here: Scripts/Typings/flot/jquery.flot.d.


Step 5 - Implementation:


Explicit Approach
If you are a strong type purist you can go all the way and actually implement the defined interfaces like so:
class DataSeries implements jquery.flot.dataSeries {

    label: string;
    data: Array<Array<number>> = new Array<Array<number>>();

    constructor(label: string, data: Array<Array<number>>) {
        this.label = label;
        this.data = data;
    }
}

class PlotOptions implements jquery.flot.plotOptions {
    grid: jquery.flot.gridOptions;
    constructor(grid: jquery.flot.gridOptions) {
        this.grid = grid;
    }
}

class GridOptions implements jquery.flot.gridOptions {
    show: boolean;
    constructor(show: boolean) {
        this.show = show;
    }
}
Once you have implemented your classes, you can interact with the FlotChart library like this:
    let dataSeriesA: DataSeries = new DataSeries("A", [[0, 10], [1, 20], [2, 30]]);
    let dataSeriesB: DataSeries = new DataSeries("B", [[0, 5], [1, 3], [2, 50]]);
    let plotElement: JQuery = jQuery("#plot");
    jQuery.plot(plotElement, [dataSeriesA, dataSeriesB], new PlotOptions(new GridOptions(false)));

Implicit Approach
If you don't want to implement classes and just want to provide objects you can interact with the FlotChart library like this instead:
    $.plot(
        $("#plot"),
        [
            { label: "A", data: [[0, 10], [1, 20], [2, 30]] },
            { label: "B", data: [[0, 5], [1, 3], [2, 50]] }
        ],
        {
            grid: {
                show : false
            }
        } 
    );

Sample code


App.ts:
 

class DataSeries implements jquery.flot.dataSeries {
    label: string;
    data: Array<Array<number>> = new Array<Array<number>>();
    constructor(label: string, data: Array<Array<number>>) {
        this.label = label;
        this.data = data;
    }
}

class PlotOptions implements jquery.flot.plotOptions {
    grid: jquery.flot.gridOptions;
    constructor(grid: jquery.flot.gridOptions) {
        this.grid = grid;
    }
}

class GridOptions implements jquery.flot.gridOptions {
    show: boolean;
    constructor(show: boolean) {
        this.show = show;
    }
}

function explicit() {
    let dataSeriesA: DataSeries = new DataSeries("A", [[0, 10], [1, 20], [2, 30]]);
    let dataSeriesB: DataSeries = new DataSeries("B", [[0, 5], [1, 3], [2, 50]]);
    let plotElement: JQuery = jQuery("#plotE");
    jQuery.plot(plotElement, [dataSeriesA, dataSeriesB], new PlotOptions(new GridOptions(false)));
}

function implicit() {
    $.plot(
        $("#plotI"),
        [
            { label: "A", data: [[0, 10], [1, 20], [2, 30]] },
            { label: "B", data: [[0, 5], [1, 3], [2, 50]] }
        ],
        {
            grid: {
                show : false
            }
        }
    );
}

window.onload = () => {
    explicit();
    implicit();
};


Index.html:
 
<!DOCTYPE html>

<html lang="en">
<head>
    <meta charset="utf-8" />
    <title>TypeScript With Flot Demo</title>
    <script src="Scripts/jquery-1.4.1.js"></script>
    <script src="Scripts/flot/jquery.flot.js"></script>
    <script src="app.js"></script>
</head>
<body>
    <h1>TypeScript with Flot demo</h1>

    <div class="plot-container">
        <div id="plotE" style="width:500px;height:500px;"></div>
        <div id="plotI" style="width:500px;height:500px;"></div>
    </div>

</body>
</html>

Summary:

  1. TypeScript apps interact with non TypeScript libraries through definition files.
  2. Library interfaces remain mostly the same. 
  3. You can interface explicitly by actually implementing reusable classes or implicitly by using objects.

Useful links:

*Note: Code in this article is not production ready and is used for prototyping purposes only. If you have suggestions or feedback please do comment. 

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