Engineers from Google’s Chromium project, Microsoft’s Edge, Mozilla and several other Webkit project engineers, have today announced WebAssembly, a new size- and load-time-efficient format and execution model specifically designed to serve as a compilation target for the Web.

The new model, as described by Microsoft, is basically being worked upon to allow developers to run non-JavaScript source code quickly and harmoniously with the rest of the web. That, because, most of the web works on standards with Javascript being its programming language.

Keeping that in mind, this combined W3C Community Group is developing WebAssembly in a manner, so that it integrates well with the rest of the Web platform and that the initial version runs efficiently on current browsers using a client-side polyfill. The polyfill can leverage asm.js to get great performance. Mozilla notes, that for existing Emscripten/asm.js users, targeting WebAssembly will be as easy as ‘flipping a flag’, and that is the genesis behind the development of WebAssembly.

As for Microsoft, interoperability with javascript, a broad language support and high performance will be the key focus areas. And if that three-point agenda does come out exactly as being touted, WebAssembly is going to nothing short of a developer’s dream.

When Microsoft announced Edge, we knew it isn’t going to be just another Internet Explorer upgrade. Looking at how Microsoft’s focus has gradually shifted towards developing cross-platform software applications, it seemed pretty obvious that edge too, was heading that way. And WebAssembly, eve though a community right now, is another indication of Microsoft’s current approach.

As of now though, the entire community is pretty early into the overall process—there is no draft spec or even final formal standards body chosen, just a W3C Community Group, some initial prototyping and early cross-browser consensus on the high-level design documentsHowever, going forward, there will be a lot more iteration and experimentation under the WebAssembly GitHub organization. For all your developer queries, you can check out the still-emerging FAQ.


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