Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla on Monday announced preview versions of WebAssembly, a low-level safe binary format designed to allow C/C++ code to run in web browsers.
Once WebAssembly, or wasm, matures and appears in browsers, it will allow developers to create native applications, and web applications with native code libraries, that run in browsers to deliver computationally complex content like streaming video, video editing, games, and virtual reality at high frame rates.
WebAssembly, on the other hand, is driven by the W3C WebAssembly Community Group, and is backed not only by Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla, but by Apple.
Also, asm.js has some technical shortcomings like lack of SIMD (single instruction, multiple data) support to accelerate parallel processing.
"Transport compression is required and saves bandwidth, but decompression before parsing hurts," Eich said, while citing other issues.
Google and Mozilla are offering preview versions of WebAssembly to solicit feedback from developers on the design and implementation of the specification.
The WebAssembly Community Group intends to publish an official specification in Q1 2017, after which WebAssembly is expected to start appearing in browsers. Mozilla said it plans to ship WebAssembly in Firefox 52 around March 2017. ®