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WebAssembly: Binary in Plain English

How to run native code in the browser, why would you do that, and what does it all mean for the future of web development.

WebAssembly is a new type of code that modern browsers can run and it's fast by design. Think about cases where you need to use software outside of the browser: video games, 3D rendering, music production and more. These things require a high degree of performance and that’s where WebAssembly steps in - a standardized compilation target for native languages that are good at this kind of stuff. You do not write WebAssembly, you compile other languages, like C++ or Rust, to it. All major browsers support it and they are steadily working on adding new features.

If you just smile and nod at the mention of binary and compilation targets, this talk is for you. It will be your gentle, illustrated guide into how WebAssembly works, why we need it and how you can benefit from it in your next project (even if you continue to work with JavaScript only). Exciting real-world applications and implications included.


> Skill level: intermediate
> Duration: 25 min


Photo of Milica Mihajlija

Milica Mihajlija

Milica is a web developer and she is currently writing for Google about performance optimizations. Before that, she was an intern at Mozilla where she worked on Servo, the experimental browser engine. She’s also a Mozilla Tech Speaker and a big believer in the open web, always exploring new technologies that are moving it forward, like WebAssembly and WebVR.

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