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[en] The current capabilities of and major scientific problems solved by time-of-flight neutron diffraction are reviewed. The reasons for the rapid development of the method over the last two decades have been mainly the emergence of third-generation pulsed sources with a megawatt time-averaged power and advances in neutron optical devices and detector systems. The paper discusses some historical aspects of time-of-flight neutron diffraction and examines the contribution to this method from F L Shapiro, the centennial of whose birth was celebrated in 2015. The state of the art with respect to neutron sources for studies on extracted beams is reviewed in a special section.