But now we have a new possibility: WebAssembly, or Wasm for short.
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.
Developers should consider WebAssembly for performance-intensive use cases such as games, music streaming, video editing, and CAD applications. Many web services have already made the move, such as Google Earth. Figma, a collaborative drawing and diagramming app, turned to WebAssembly to cut load times and execution speed even when WebAssembly was relatively new.
How WebAssembly works
WebAssembly, developed by the W3C, is in the words of its creators a “compilation target.” Developers don’t write WebAssembly directly; they write in the language of their choice, which is then compiled into WebAssembly bytecode. The bytecode is then run on the client—typically in a web browser—where it’s translated into native machine code and executed at high speed.