WebAssembly Support Begins Materializing In Multiple Browsers

Written by Michael Larabel in Desktop on 15 March 2016 at 09:19 AM EDT. 30 Comments
WebAssembly, the year-old effort for creating a low-level programming language for in-browser client-side scripting with cross-browser support is making more progress.

Google developers today announced experimental WebAssembly support in their V8 JavaScript Engine. Microsoft also announced their experimental WebAssembly support in Microsoft Edge. With Microsoft having open-sourced their ChakraCore JavaScript engine, Microsoft is developing their WebAssembly support in the open under GitHub. Like Mozilla, much of Microsoft's early WebAssembly work is leveraging ASM.js.

With multiple browsers announcing their experimental support today, Mozilla also put out a blog post on hacks.mozilla.org with more details about WebAssembly.

So far the WebAssembly working group has put out a description and rationale of the features, a specification and reference interpreter, a number of tests, and the first draft of the binary format. Still to be done is defining the WebAssembly text format, further reducing the binary format size, interating on the WebAssembly JavaScript API, more documentation, and more tests. The WebAssembly LLVM back-end also continues to mature in open-source.

Overall, WebAssembly continues to be looking up for offering a high-performance, low-level browser scripting experience that works cross-browser. It will be interesting to see how far WebAssembly gets by the end of the year.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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