What’s new with WebAssembly portable code

By | August 28th, 2017
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The JavaScript companion for faster web applications is likely to gain more

language support and more browser optimizations


WebAssembly, introduced with great fanfare in 2015, is a low-level format intended to exceed JavaScript’s performance when it comes to executing computationally intensive operations in a browser. WebAssembly provides a binary code format that is smaller over the wire, loads faster, and has better performance than JavaScript. It could prove useful in applications such as web-based CAD programs, 3D models, calculators, and games.

There is now broad agreement within the W3C WebAssembly group on the initial version’s draft, said Luke Wagner, a Mozilla engineer on the WebAssembly team. WebAssembly reached MVP (minimum viable product) status in March. Implementations are shipping in the Firefox and Chrome browsers. Microsoft supports the WebAssembly MVP with the Insider program’s beta builds of Edge without a flag. The browser engine in Apple’s Safari, WebKit, provided a full implementation of WebAssembly in June.

Already, a 3D library called Dracohas been released by Google that uses WebAssembly. Used for compressing and decompressing 3D geometric meshes and clouds, Draco features a WebAssembly decoder for better performance.

WebAssembly can beused with JavaScript in applications, with JavaScript used for scripting and WebAssembly for computational performance. WebAssembly JavaScript APIs can load WebAssembly modules into a JavaScript app.


Nisheeth Bhakuni