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WebAssembly, also known as WASM, is a new binary-based programming language you can run in a web browser. It is being developed by:
- WASM is still in the early stages of development, and it currently only works in a few browsers. The compatible browsers include Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, and Apple Safari. WASM is also not yet supported by all web development frameworks.
- WASM is not yet as widely adopted as JS. For WASM to replace JS, it would need to be supported by more browsers and web development frameworks. WebAssembly would also need to gain more popularity among developers.
- JS is an interpreted language, while WASM is a compiled language. That means that the browser reads and executes JS code at runtime, while WASM code is compiled into machine code and then uploaded to the browser.
Here’s a video you should watch for insights into the differences between WASM and JS:
WebAssembly (WASM) is a binary format suitable for compilation to the web. It was designed as a portable, efficient, and safe way to run code written in other languages on the web.
However, like any technology, WASM has its share of pros and cons.
As a result, WASM files are typically much smaller than JS files. For example, a WASM file might be 100KB, whereas a JS file might be 1MB. That difference can translate to faster load times and less bandwidth usage.
One of the main goals of WASM is to allow developers to use multiple languages in their web applications. That can be a big advantage when using WASM since developers can choose the best language for each task.
For example, some tasks might require a lower-level language such as C++, while others might require a higher-level language such as Rust. WASM makes it possible to use multiple languages in a single application, leading to more efficient code overall.
Another advantage of using WebAssembly is that it can enable more efficient use of resources. That’s because WASM compiles code into a binary format that the browser can execute directly.
If you need a primer on WebAssembly, check out WebAssembly: The Definitive Guide from Amazon.com. The book covers the basics of WASM, how to use it, and its potential applications, making it a great starting point for anyone interested in learning more about this technology.
One of the biggest disadvantages of using WASM is that it’s still in development; hence there are still some bugs and limitations to be addressed.
In addition, WASM is not yet fully integrated into all major browsers, which means it can be challenging to use in production environments. Until that changes, many developers may be hesitant to adopt this technology.
On the one hand, low-level languages can be more difficult to learn and use. On the other hand, they can offer more control over how code is executed.
Another limitation of WebAssembly is that it lacks garbage collector integration. That means developers need to manage memory manually, which can lead to memory leaks and other issues.
As a result, WASM may not be the best choice for large or complex web applications that require extensive memory management. However, it could be a good option for simpler projects that don’t require extensive memory management.
What do you think?