Book Image

Learn WebAssembly

By : Mike Rourke
Book Image

Learn WebAssembly

By: Mike Rourke

Overview of this book

WebAssembly is a brand-new technology that represents a paradigm shift in web development. This book teaches programmers to leverage this technology to write high-performance applications that run in the browser. This book introduces you to powerful WebAssembly concepts to help you write lean and powerful web applications with native performance. You start with the evolution of web programming, the state of things today, and what can be done with the advent and release of WebAssembly. We take a look at the journey from JavaScript to asm.js to WebAssembly. We then move on to analyze the anatomy of a WebAssembly module and the relationship between binary and text formats, along with the corresponding JavaScript API. Further on, you'll implement all the techniques you've learned to build a high-performance application using C and WebAssembly, and then port an existing game written in C++ to WebAssembly using Emscripten. By the end of this book, you will be well-equipped to create high-performance applications and games for the web using WebAssembly.
Table of Contents (18 chapters)
Title Page
Copyright and Credits

Chapter 1. What is WebAssembly?

WebAssembly (Wasm) represents an important stepping stone for the web platform. Enabling a developer to run compiled code on the web without a plugin or browser lock-in presents many new opportunities. Some confusion exists about what WebAssembly is, as does some skepticism about its staying power.

In this chapter, we will discuss how WebAssembly came to be, what WebAssembly is with regard to the official definition, and the technologies it encompasses. The potential use cases, supported languages, and limitations will be covered, as well as where to find additional information.

Our goal for this chapter is to understand the following:

  • The technologies that led the way for WebAssembly
  • What WebAssembly is and some of its potential use cases
  • Which programming languages can be used with WebAssembly
  • The current limitations of WebAssembly
  • How WebAssembly relates to Emscripten and asm.js