WebAssembly (abbreviated as Wasm) is a low-level bytecode format designed as a portable target for the compilation of high-level languages like C, C++, and Rust, enabling deployment on the web for client and server applications. Wasm is designed to be executed in a sandboxed environment, ensuring safety and security.
Another advantage of Wasm is its portability. Since it is a bytecode format, Wasm can be compiled from multiple high-level languages and run on any platform that has a Wasm runtime, such as web browsers, servers or even IoT devices.
History Of Wasm
WebAssembly was first announced in 2015 as a collaboration between major browser vendors such as Mozilla, Google, Microsoft and Apple. It was designed to improve the performance of web applications and to make it possible to write apps in multiple languages that compile to a common, portable format.
How Wasm Works
WebAssembly is a binary format designed to be executed in a virtual machine. The virtual machine is implemented in the browser or in other environments such as Node.js or Go (using wazero). WebAssembly code is loaded into the virtual machine and executed in a sandboxed environment.
WebAssembly code is typically generated by compilers targeting the Wasm format. The code is optimized for performance and size and can be loaded and executed quickly.
Benefits Of Wasm
WebAssembly code can be executed in any environment with a Wasm runtime, including web browsers and Node.js.
WebAssembly code is executed in a sandboxed environment, isolating it from the rest of the system, improving security.
WebAssembly code can be written in any language that can be compiled to the Wasm format, enabling code reuse and interoperability between different programming languages.
Wasm Use Cases
Wasm can be used for a variety of purposes, ranging from improving the performance of web applications to enabling new types of applications to run in the browser. Here are some of the most common use cases for Wasm:
One of the most obvious Wasm use cases is improving the performance of web applications, particularly for tasks such as video editing and scientific simulations.
Another use case is game development, where wasm can be used to build high-performance games that run in the browser.
WebAssembly can be used to write serverless functions that can be executed in a serverless environment, such as AWS Lambda or Google Cloud Functions. This can improve the performance and scalability of serverless applications.
Desktop And Mobile Applications
Another use case for WebAssembly is building cross-platform desktop and mobile applications that can run on multiple platforms without requiring separate builds for each platform. This can reduce development time and cost compared to building separate applications for each platform.
Wazero And Wasm For Go
wazero is the only zero-dependency WebAssembly runtime written in Go. wazero is a fully-functional, standards-compliant, rich, and battle-tested WebAssembly runtime that integrates seamlessly with the best features of the Go runtime, such as safe concurrency and context propagation. It includes both programming interfaces for Go developers and a CLI for those who wish to just run Wasm.Learn more and get started at wazero.io›