Type-Aware Rules for ESLint

In a previous article my colleague Tobias Walle already discussed how Static code analysis in Node.js can be used to improve the quality of your code, specifically with ESLint. Most TypeScript developers are probably already aware of the eslint-plugin which provides a plethora of additional rules specifically for TypeScript.

What is slightly less known is that you can opt in to type-aware rules, albeit at some cost to performance. It is highly recommended to enable this feature unless the size of your code base makes the use of it prohibitively expensive - in which case you might want to defer these checks to a pre-commit hook.

Setting this up is slightly more tricky than your average ESLint-plugin, but the documentation does a great job of guiding you through it. Just make sure you read the troubleshooting section because chances are you will run into issues if you don’t. Or so I am told 🙄.

So what’s the benefit of all of this? Consider the following (admittedly somewhat silly) piece of code, which will pass conventional linting just fine:

async function boom(): Promise<number> {
    throw '💥'


Eagle-eyed developers will quickly spot at least three issues with this (besides the pointlessness of the function 😉):

  • the function is async even though it does not need to be
  • the call to boom is not awaited.
  • the function throws a string literal, not an an Error object

This is where the type-aware rules require-await, no-floating-promises and no-throw-literal, respectively, come to the rescue. Please note that the latter is not enabled by default if your configuration only extends plugin:@typescript-eslint/recommended-requiring-type-checking, you will either have to enable it manually or also use plugin:@typescript-eslint/strict.

About the author: Raphael Pigulla

Raphael has more than ten years of experience in software development and architecture. He specializes in backend development with Node.js and TypeScript. Raphael joined MaibornWolff in 2019.