WebAssembly (WASM) becomes the fourth Web languages after HTML, CSS and JS

Today, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) announced that WebAssembly Core Specification is now an official web standard. WebAssembly is a safe, portable, low-level format designed for efficient execution and compact representation of code on modern processors and in a web browser.

WebAssembly is also called WASM. It is a binary instruction format designed for stack-based virtual machines. As a portable target, WASM is used to compile high-level languages ​like C / C ++ and Rust.

WebAssembly (WASM) becomes the fourth Web languages after HTML, CSS and JS
WebAssembly (WASM) Official Logo

Philippe Le Hégaret, W3C Project Lead said “The arrival of WebAssembly expands the range of applications that can be achieved by simply using Open Web Platform technologies. In a world where machine learning and Artificial Intelligence become more and more common, it is important to enabling high-performance applications on the Web, without compromising the safety of the users.”

So far, W3C-certified Web languages ​​of the World Wide Web Consortium were HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and now, WebAssembly Core Specification has joined the family as the fourth member. WASM version 1.0 now supports Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Edge browsers.

WASM has been optimizing compiled languages ​​for decades, and its bytecode is optimized for compactness and streaming. The web page can start executing when another code is downloaded. Network and API access is through the included JavaScript library, and the security model is the same as JavaScript.

WebAssembly (WASM) becomes the fourth Web languages after HTML, CSS and JS
WebAssembly (WASM)

There are multiple implementations of WASM, including browsers and stand-alone systems, which can be used for applications such as video and audio codecs, graphics and 3D, multimedia and gaming, cryptographic computing, or portable language implementations.

After WebAssembly (WASM) becomes the fourth W3C-certified Web languages, new features include:

  • Threading: Threads provide the benefits of shared-memory multi-threading and atomic memory accesses.
  • Fixed-width SIMD: Vector operations that execute loops in parallel.
  • Reference types reference types : Allow WebAssembly code to directly reference host objects.
  • Tail calls, Last call : Enable calling functions without using extra stack space.
  • ECMAScript module integration: Interact with JavaScript by loading WebAssembly executables as ES6 modules.

WebAssembly describes a memory-safe sandbox execution environment that can even be implemented inside existing JavaScript virtual machines. When embedded in the Web, WASM enforces the browser’s same-origin and permissions security policies.

It can improve the performance of the Web by allowing loaded pages to run as natively compiled code.

It can achieve near the local performance and optimize load time, and it can be also be used as a compilation target for existing code bases. Share your thoughts on declaration WebAssembly (WASM) as official Web Standard language in the comment section below!