Bringing the Web up to Speed with WebAssembly

  • The maturation of the Web platform has given rise to sophisticated and demanding Web applications such as interactive
    3D visualization, audio and video software, and games. With that, efficiency and security of code on the Web has become
    more important than ever. Yet JavaScript as the only builtin language of the Web is not well-equipped to meet these requirements, especially as a compilation target. Engineers from the four major browser vendors have risen to the challenge and collaboratively designed a portable low-level bytecode called WebAssembly. It offers compact representation, efficient validation and compilation, and safe low to no-overhead execution. Rather than committing to a
    specific programming model, WebAssembly is an abstraction over modern hardware, making it language-, hardware-, and platform-independent, with use cases beyond just the Web. WebAssembly has been designed with a formal semantics
    from the start. We describe the motivation, design and formal semantics of WebAssembly and provide some preliminary experience with implementations.

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