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WebAssembly

Sumeet Sumeet Follow Aug 09, 2020 · 2 mins read
WebAssembly
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I finally found some time to rekindle my affair with WebAssembly. It has been a long time I had subscribed to emscripten and binaryen mailing list, but I haven’t really read through everything. Let’s put it this way - I have read enough to not make any sense out of it.

Few years back I came across WebAssembly purely out of curiosity. I was surprised and I still am, knowing the fact that there isn’t enough attention given to what is going on with it. Can you imagine running applications which tend to crash your system into browsers? - That is exactly what WebAssembly a.k.a. WASM is trying to achieve. I am still amazed. Okay, I have to confess, I don’t know much about WebAssembly at this point and this could mark the beginning for me to get started with this topic.

Currently, web applications are delivered in the form of HTML+CSS+JS to your browsers. But this combination is not very performant. JavaScript is a high level language and there are many frameworks out there which help improve performance of web applications in browsers as well as usage of coding best practises. These frameworks help in creating good frontend applications but most of these performance benefits are attributed to the strong hardware and coding best practices. But still, at the end of the day, JS is a high level language - nothing compared to native performances delivered by low level static languages like C/C++. WASM helps deliver this native performance to your browsers.

WASM is a new type of code that is compatible with modern web browsers and it is being developed as an open standard by W3C WebAssembly Community Group. Some of the features of WASM are:

  1. Fast, efficient and portable - taking advantage of performances offered by low-level native languages.
  2. Readable - despite being low-level, it still aims to be readable enough.
  3. Secure - has to be in today’s date.
  4. Backward compatible - it is being designed to work along with JavaScript and other web technologies.

I will be doing some experiments at this Github repository. Feel free to join in.

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Sumeet
Written by Sumeet Follow
Hi, I am Sumeet, and I believe the world belongs to the doers. Here, I publish my technical tinkering experiences. I hope you like it!