What is WebAssembly? The next-generation web platform explained

For two decades now, we’ve had only one programming language available to use natively in a web browser: JavaScript. The slow death of third-party binary plug-ins has ruled out other languages, such as Java and Flash’s ActionScript, as first-class citizens for web development. Other web languages, like CoffeeScript, are merely compiled to JavaScript.

But now we have a new possibility: WebAssembly, or Wasm for short. WebAssembly is a small, fast binary format that promises near-native performance for web applications. Plus, WebAssembly is designed to be a compilation target for any language, JavaScript being just one of them.

With every major browser now supporting WebAssembly, it’s time to start thinking seriously about writing client-side apps for the web that can be compiled as WebAssembly.

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