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Author Topic: Webassembly: Big four to develop binary format for the web  (Read 2191 times)

Edvard

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Webassembly: Big four to develop binary format for the web
« on: June 19, 2015, 08:10:02 PM »
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Mozilla, Google, Microsoft and Apple have decided to develop a binary format for the web. Called WebAssembly, this format could be a compilation target for any programming language, enabling applications to run in the browser or other agents.
...
WebAssembly is meant to allow programs written in languages other than JavaScript to run in the browser and other JS agents on the server, mobile or IoT.



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mwb1100

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Re: Webassembly: Big four to develop binary format for the web
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2015, 04:49:37 AM »
So... they're reinventing Java?

xtabber

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Re: Webassembly: Big four to develop binary format for the web
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2015, 07:00:26 AM »
So... they're reinventing Java?

You don't see Oracle (or IBM) in that "Big four" list, do you?

WebAssembly is explicitly not tied to a single language, which makes it conceptually more like .NET than Java.  Note also that it uses pre- rather than JIT compilation.  Google has already done that in Android with ARC replacing Dalvik beginning with Lollipop.  I'd guess that WebAssembly is also designed for sandboxing, meant to live in the browser rather than the  server while avoiding the security vulnerabilities that plague current browser-based runtime engines.

This sounds a lot like an attempt to move the heavy lifting away from the big iron and onto the user's system, which makes sense, given the folk who are behind it.






Edvard

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Re: Webassembly: Big four to develop binary format for the web
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2015, 02:49:30 PM »
Yes, it sounds like they're attempting two goals; 1- to make the language of the web more language-agnostic (at least on the front end; what's in front of the programmer that is...) and 2- as xtabber said, to push processing to the client rather than the server AND be more efficient when doing so.  

When I first read the announcements on this, I was like "Didn't we already have this in CGI executables?" but, like Java and .NET for the web, CGI bins run in their own little world, separate from the HTML they reside in.  Where JavaScript excels is in actually working with and manipulating the content.  WebAssembly is like the best of both of those worlds, with a few perks.

Heres a good Ars Technica article on it that goes into a bit more depth:
The Web is getting its bytecode: WebAssembly
Quote
WebAssembly, or wasm for short, is intended to be a portable bytecode that will be efficient for browsers to download and load, providing a more efficient target for compilers than plain JavaScript or even asm.js. Like, for example, .NET bytecode, wasm instructions operate on native machine types such as 32-bit integers, enabling efficient compilation. It's also designed to be extensible, to make it easy to add, say, support for SIMD instruction sets like SSE and AVX.

I wonder though... how long before we see embedded viruses and malware written for WebAssembly?
5.. 4.. 3.. 2..
« Last Edit: June 27, 2015, 02:17:30 AM by Edvard »