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Wasmer 1.0 Released As The Universal WebAssembly Runtime Outside The Browser

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  • #11
    Originally posted by Artim View Post

    In theory. But fact is especially companies like Apple and Microsoft will probably never ever do that. Sure, MS might move some of their applications to wasm, probably especially the ones that already run on the web, but they probably won't let you run it in something like Wasmer. And Apple will probably do anything to port iOS Apps to wasm. And it remeains to be seen how much wasm Apple will allow in Safari. They want developers to make proper iOS Apps, and in the first place they want the total control over any app running on iOS. Or what do you think why they copied the concept of Android's instant apps and make them available via NFC- or QR-Codes for cases the easiest way would have been something like a PWA?
    I mean it would be great if you could finally leave the walled gardens and use any app you want on any platform you want, but in the end some OS might not survive without some exclusive apps that in the best case everyone wants to use. Users would abandon ship if they have no compelling reason to stay (other than habit). And there are things wasm will not be able to fix if the root of the problem lies to deep, like missing hardware support.
    I agree this is all in theory, and it's not likely to happen.

    But if there is an escape from the big tech companies through WASM, I don't expect them to lead it. I'm thinking what if some company writes a really good WASM spreadsheet, and people start using that in Safari or Chrome. Then another company makes a great 3D game that runs in WASM, and you can play it in Edge browser on Windows. Then a third person makes a WASM music player and manager and people start using that from Chrome on Android.

    Now initially, this gives the user no incentive to switch. They can use the apps they want on the platform they already have. But if the prices on iPhones get too high, or Microsoft starts adding ads to the Windows 10 start menu, or Google shuts down yet another service users like, or (best option) you see a buddy using something new and are impressed with the user experience, then you can switch.

    As unlikely as that is, I see it as the most feasible route to getting most people to escape the walled gardens. My wife and kids have been watching me as a happy, "it just works" Ubuntu MATE user for years, and they just don't care. They're happy in their walled gardens.


    • #12
      Well, if companies wanted to be cross platform they could already be. And some cool wasm app that nobody will use won't change things either. I mean PWA is already a really great concept, but the only really useful app I can think of is keeweb, twitter... And that's it. And PWAs are around for a few years now. But since Apple won't adopt it, it won't get any traction since you can't serve all platforms with one solution.

      So wasm probably won't be the solution too unless something happens like MS shutting down Windows (at least in the form of being able to run x86 apps) and tell everyone to go off into the cloud or something like that. And Google shutting down services won't help that either. No, the only thing that can actually get some traction is MS Blazor WebAssembly but I'm sure they make sure it won't hurt them.

      And if companies use it, there is still a chance something like the Zoom web client will be the result. They seem to use some monster made of a bit WebRTC combined with wasm-compiles ffmpeg to use mpeg4 support in Browser. Haven't tried it since may but back then the performance was awfull. Crappy video and what seemed to be slowed down audio, at least people sounded very drunk and audio from different participants kept overlapping each other. No problem with native client though (except on Debian where the client was too slow to even log in)

      PS: iPhones can get as expensive add they want, won't change a thing. We are already at 1000 $+ and people are still crazy enough to buy. And something starting in Safari won't ever happen either. Firefox is already slow on adopting Web standards, but Apple is even much worse.
      Last edited by Artim; 06 January 2021, 06:31 PM.