10 hot language projects riding WebAssembly


Today’s web applications are nowhere near as fast and responsive as native desktop applications, but what if they could be? That’s the promise of WebAssembly.

WebAssembly is a low-level, assembly-like language with a compact binary format that runs with near-native performance in web browsers. At the same time, WebAssembly provides a portable compilation target for C/C++, C#, Rust, Go, Kotlin, Swift, and other programming languages.

[ Also on InfoWorld: Microsoft gets serious about WebAssembly ]

Hailed as a way to both improve web application performance and allow languages other than JavaScript to be used in the development of browser apps, WebAssembly is championed by Google, Mozilla, Apple, and Microsoft, all of which support the technology in their browser engines.

WebAssembly has led to the development of a range of new technologies, including whole new programming languages, that harness its power. Following are 10 language projects that have made big bets on WebAssembly.

Binaryen

Binaryen is a compiler toolchain infrastructure library for WebAssembly. Written in C++, Binaryen is intended to make compiling to WebAssembly easy, effective, and fast. It has a C API in a single header, and it can be used from JavaScript. Input is accepted in WebAssembly-like form but a general control graph also is accepted for compilers that prefer it.

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