What is WebAssembly?
Many programs that you may use are already running on WebAssembly, such as:
- Adobe Acrobat’s in-browser application, which uses C++ code that has been compiled directly into WebAssembly.
Why Do People Like WebAssembly?
WebAssembly remains open source, which is a highlight for those who have followed its history and value this innovation-spurring open source format. It has also been lauded as having the potential to be a, “build once, run anywhere” star that performs across all hardware and platforms. The truth of this claim is yet to be determined due to WebAssembly’s relative youth compared to its peers.
When running, WebAssembly can’t reach out to the machine it is running on. This is called operating in a “secure sandbox,” and it is done by most web technologies. It generally protects users from malicious programs that could take control of their personal computers, as long as they exercise discretion by not being lured into clicking on flashy advertisements that disguise malware.
Scripting Language Versatility
Virtually any major programming language will compile to WebAssembly (C, C++, Rust, Go, TypeScript, .Net, Kotlin, and many others). This makes using WebAssembly a seamless transition for a majority of developers from various source code backgrounds.
Best Uses For WebAssembly
WebAssembly is best suited for:
- Computer-aided design: It is theoretically possible to bring programs like AutoCAD or Adobe Photoshop into WebAssembly to accomplish this.
- Complex games: As an example of what is possible, one person devoted a seven-week effort towards successfully compiling the video game Doom 3 into WebAssembly (https://www.infoq.com/news/2019/07/doom3-web-assembly-port/).
Head To Head Comparison