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Rishi Kumar Chawda
Rishi Kumar Chawda

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Is Web Assembly the future?

Recently, I have seen and read articles on web assembly out of curiosity and was wondering if it would be a significant part of web development in the future since it provides better performance than Javascript.

( I'm a Javascript developer - React and React Native - and was exploring more on web development so that I've something new to learn over the next couple of weekends. )

What are your thoughts, devs?

Top comments (3)

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rhymes profile image
rhymes

A few months ago @captainsafia wrote this cool article outlining a lot of what's going on in WebAssembly's world:

I personally don't think WebAssembly is going to be the future, but it's definitely going to be a future. What I mean is that it will be a powerful tool at our disposal, but I don't think we're going to only deploy web apps through that.

@lisaveras said it beautifully in this comment:

Thanks for this post. This is the most straightforward article I've read about Web Assembly.

I think people haven't really started playing with because it involves the browser but it's supposed to be used for tasks that are typically run in the back end. We haven't yet broken through that mentality of having things happen where we expect them to.

It will help bring stuff that usually runs in the backend back on the client and it requires some new patterns on how to build web apps.

Since January the biggest new development in WebAssembly's land is WASI, a standardization to bring WebAssemby outside the web (after all is just a binary format), which could allow greater portability of software.

I think it really depends on how all of this is received once it's ready and if companies and organizations will invest time and money in WebAssembly.

I'm hopeful but I also recognize that I live in a bubble :D WebAssembly is nowhere near being mainstream yet. That's going to change when the tooling gets better and maybe even disappears from the perspective of the developer.

The idea of WASI is that you write your code once and then you can target this new format and deploy it on a desktop computer or in a web server or wherever.

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rishikc profile image
Rishi Kumar Chawda

What bugged my mind regarding web assembly was that wether it was going to be more robust way in terms of cross-platform web applications since it would be native code? So maybe it would be better in some ways like performance, compatibility etc?

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rhymes profile image
rhymes

WebAssembly is not native code, it's a portable binary format. You still need to translate the .wasm file to a native format, likely using a runtime.

Ideally you write the code in whatever language, run it in a runtime (which can be the browser or tools like wasmer or wasmtime or future WASI implementations) and that's it.

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