Friday, June 19, 2015

Web Assembly is Backed by the Right People

There have been a few attempts over the years to take a more revolutionary approach to pushing the web forward. Google's Dart, Microsoft's TypeScript are some examples of these. While these have been interesting to skim, I have never followed them too closely because they lacked the kind of support they would need to succeed. JavaScript alternatives can compile to JavaScript, but without being built into the browser, they were never going to replace JavaScript.

Yesterday, news of the Web Assembly initiative broke:
It's far too early to decide whether or not this will work out, there's very little detail to go on at this point. However, I was pleased to see that the group of companies putting some support behind it seems to be the right group. If Apple, Mozilla, Microsoft and Google all put their weight behind an initiative to improve the web, there's a much better chance of it succeeding than if one, or none of them does.

Now, "weight" is a subjective term, and it wouldn't be hard to imagine one or all of these companies not putting enough force behind this to make it a success. But if they really do all commit significant resources to this kind of effort, there's a real chance that this could be a moment in the history of the web that we look back on as a turning point.

It's still too early to have much of an opinion, but I'm interested to see where this goes.

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