Evolution never stops. All things come into the world, grow and fade away in the end, letting other things take their place - that's the circle of life. Being a part of life, web browsers can't escape the same fate. It's time for them to grow and evolve.
Today we'll look at WebAssembly. It's a pretty interesting technology that can take web browsers to a new level. All of us get used to existing browser functions: texting, sending audio and video messages, music, videos, uploading and downloading files. But hey, how long we've been able to do this? 10 years? Maybe 15 years? That's pretty long period. We're living in the world of virtual reality, artificial intelligence, robots, flying skateboards and exo-suits. Browsers should fit this high-tech world!
WebAssembly tries to do that. Here's a short list of its features:
- Browsers upgrade: performance optimization and implementation of advanced technologies like 4k-graphics or desktop applications online. Let's have a detailed conversation about it with Michael Tsypkin, front end developer at Anadea.
Could you brief me what is WebAssembly?
And does WASM fix it?
It seems like WASM has a really bright future!
Does it work the same way as Java Virtual Machine?
It is. Browser is a virtual machine itself. JVM runs multiple languages: Java, Scala, Kotlin, etc. But the thing is, Java compiles into bytecode which is later interpreted by JVM. Write once, run in JVM everywhere, on any device - just like their slogan says.
Will it be easier to write code for front end developers?
Who knows? In the nearest future it won't affect front-ender's life at all. Much later, well, I believe WASM can start a trend of creating complex applications in browser. Maybe there will be some complex browser games. Not the same level as The Witcher 3, but they will be much better than what we have now. WASM can become really useful for VR technology in browser and things like that, it will be easier to develop them. So, it will influence the level of browser applications, but it won't impact the life of guys who write classic front end single page interfaces in React or Angular.
Also, I heard an idea that WebAssembly is the second breath for ChromeOS. Because now we can run more complex applications in browser and there is no limitations for this OS.
Any business potential?
I think, there will be a trend toward adapting desktop applications in browser. Photoshop, for example. Why not? I'm talking about its basic functions, not the whole functionality. At least, that's how I see it. There's also a theory that people would be able to write back end and front end with the same language. In Java, for example. Write server part in Java and some front end scripts. I'm a bit sceptical about it, because not all languages are good for this, but theory is theory.
Thanks for your time, Michael!
As you see, WebAssembly opens many ways for upgrading browsers. Accelerating their processing and adapting popular desktop applications looks like a next-gen browsers that we deserve. It also gives developers a possibility to improve performance of their applications and allows them to develop more complex and more productive software. We'll see how things go after its release and we can't wait for it quietly, as we're too excited about it. Hope you enjoyed this first look. Keep on reading Anadea Blog for more interestiing news and information from the world of software development.