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WebAssembly

WebAssembly (or Wasm) is a web standard that defines a binary format and a corresponding assembly-like text format for executable code on the web.
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JS Party JS Party #47

The nitty gritty on BitMidi

Where does Feross get all those wonderful toys? He builds them with JavaScript, of course! BitMidi – a website for listening to your favorite MIDI files – is his latest creation. In this episode, Jerod “sits down” with Feross to learn all about it. How do MIDIs even work? Why won’t they play on the web anymore? Can WASM save the day (hint: yes)? How does Feross get so many eyeballs on his creations? Is Preact awesome for building sites like this? What’s the future of BitMidi look like? Don’t ask us, listen to the episode!

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Steve Klabnik words.steveklabnik.com

Is WebAssembly the return of Java Applets & Flash?

A lot of people wanted Steve Klabnik to elaborate on this from a recent post on WebAssembly… Some have compared WebAssembly to Java applets; in some ways, they’re very right, but in some ways, they’re very wrong. Eventually I’ll write a post about the wrong, but for now, the right: in some sense, WebAssembly is a different way of accomplishing what the JVM set out to do: it’s a common virtual machine that can be used to build very cross-platform software. Here’s a great take away if all you want is a tldr… Java Applets and Flash were security nightmares. WebAssembly, on the other hand, piggybacks on the JavaScript VM. All of the effort going into creating its sandbox also applies to Wasm.

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Benjamin Bouvier blog.benj.me

Making calls to WebAssembly blazingly fast

Benjamin Bouvier, Compiler Engineer at Mozilla, writes about speeding up calls from JS to Wasm in Firefox. If we want more WebAssembly (wasm) adoption, there shouldn’t be a big costly barrier between the two universes. That is, calls from one world to the other should be fast. For a very long time, calls from JS to asm.js/WebAssembly have been quite slow in Firefox. In fact, we didn’t optimize them at all. He goes on to say… Starting with Firefox 60, the JIT compiler makes no distinctions between calling a JavaScript function or a WebAssembly function, meaning it uses the same call optimizations for both kinds of function. Benjamin continues through several more bugs mentioned on the Bugzilla bug board with fixes to speed up calls from JS to Wasm in Firefox.

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Tom Black blacktm.com

A guide to getting started with Ruby on WebAssembly

Tom Black: With the advent of WebAssembly, the race is on to bring new languages to the web. This is the first example (I think!) of a Ruby interpreter running in the browser. The path to get there is circuitous. Ruby script → MRuby bytecode → C → emcc → LLVM → Binaryen → WebAssembly The good news is access to that path is just a gem install wasm away. Read the entire post for some great context and history around these efforts.

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The Changelog The Changelog #294

Code Cartoons, Rust, WebAssembly

Lin Clark joined the show to talk about Code Cartoons, her work at Mozilla in the emerging technologies group, Rust, Servo, and WebAssembly (aka Wasm), the Rust community’s big goal in 2018 for Rust to become a web language (thanks in part to Wasm), passing objects between Rust and JavaScript, Rust libraries depending on JavaScript packages and vice versa, Wasm ES Modules, and Lin’s upcoming keynote at Fluent on the parallel future of the browser.

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Ashley Willams Mozilla

Hello wasm-pack!

wasm-pack is a tool for assembling and packaging Rust crates that target WebAssembly. These packages can be published to the npm Registry and used alongside other packages. This means you can use them side-by-side with JS and other packages, and in many kind of applications, be it a Node.js server side app, a client-side application bundled by Webpack, or any other sort of application that uses npm dependencies. We’re recording a show with Lin Clark today and will definitely ask her all about the progress Mozilla folks have been making on merging the JavaScript and Rust worlds via WebAssembly. Exciting times!

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Jon Stødle blog.jonstodle.com

PWAs are going to eat the (app) world

Yesterday’s bearish link about PWAs caused a bit of a stir in our community Slack. Here comes the bull: PWAs are going to be versatile enough and robust enough that they’re going to supplant some of the native apps you might have on your phone (or computer) today. I appreciate the caution on display by use of the word “some”. Jon may be bullish, but he’s not a zealot! Why does he think PWAs will finally get over the hurdle? One acronym: WASM With the ease of install of PWAs and high performance of WASM, I think we’re also going to see some Electron apps moving to be PWAs. Great article. Definitely click through and read the whole thing. 💯

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Lachlan Sneff github.com

An operating system that executes WebAssembly in ring 0

It’s a reimagining of the Singularity OS of old, using new technologies like WebAssembly and Rust. Using an intermediate language as a compile target for applications allows for architecture agnosticism and interesting optimizations that would not be possible on conventional OSes. Here’s to the crazy ones. 🍻

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InfoQ Icon InfoQ

Microsoft adopts Blazor, adds another piece to the WebAssembly/.NET puzzle

.NET is getting ever-closer to running in the browser thanks to Blazor, an experimental web UI framework where you write C#/Razor and HTML and it compiles to WebAssembly. Blazor started out as a personal project by Microsoft engineer, Steve Sanderson. But now it’s getting the “official” designation and has been moved to the aspnet org on GitHub.

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