Launching the WebAssembly Working Group

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We'd like to announce the formation of a WebAssembly Working Group.

For over two years the WebAssembly W3C Community Group has served as a forum for browser vendors and others to come together to develop an elegant and efficient compilation target for the Web. A first version is available in 4 browser engines and is on track to become a standard part of the Web. We've had several successful in-person CG meetings, while continuing our robust online collaboration on github. We also look forward to engaging the wider W3C community at the WebAssembly meeting at this year's TPAC.

With the formation of this Working Group, we will soon be able to recommend an official version of the WebAssembly specification.

For those of you unfamiliar with WebAssembly, its initial goal is to provide a good way for C/C++ programs to compile to run on the Web, safely and at near-native speeds.

WebAssembly improves or enables a ranges of use cases, including:

  • Games
  • Video + Audio Codecs, Custom Compression for data, 3D-models
  • Media editing tools
  • Speech synthesis and recognition
  • Client-side computer vision
  • Porting existing fat clients to the Web
  • Anything that needs to run as fast as possible!

WebAssembly is also about bringing more programming languages to the Web.

By offering a compact and well specified compilation target, WebAssembly enables not only compiled languages like C/C++ and Rust, but also interpreted languages like Lua, Python, and Ruby. As we enhance WebAssembly to support managed objects and better DOM+JS bindings, the list of supported languages will continue to grow.

Even if you develop primarily in JavaScript, you'll benefit as a wealth of libraries from other languages are exposed to JavaScript. Imagine using JavaScript to access powerful libraries from outside the Web for things like physical simulation, fast number crunching, and machine learning.

There is still a lot of work to do with WebAssembly, which we will continue to incubate in our Community Group. We plan to make Wasm an even better compilation target and are already exploring adding features like: threads, managed object support, direct DOM/JS bindings, SIMD, and memory mapping.

A warm thanks to everyone involved with the WebAssembly effort.

Keep expecting the Web to do more!

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