Web Assembly, Blazor and the future of Web Development

This article is part of the Developer Developer Developer 13 series covering the talks given at Microsoft UK HQ in Reading on 23rd June 2018.

The second talk was Web Assembly, Blazor and the future of Web Development by Joseph Woodward.

Joseph Woodward is also presenting Blazor with renowned web performance guru Steve Sanderson at .NET South West in Bristol on 17th July 2018, and there are already people on the waitlist for this event.

To explain the need for Web Assembly, Joe gave a nice history overview. The JavaScript language came out in 1995, the year Toy Story came out, a small bookstore called Amazon sold its first book, and Pogs were all the rage!

Joe said that JavaScript took off in a big way around 2008.

The slide below is a snippet from the paper Bringing the Web up to Speed with WebAssembly by Google, Microsoft, Mozilla and Apple.

Joe then introduced Web Assembly as the low-level bytecode for the web:

Languages such as C/C++, Rust and Go offer support for Web Assembly as a compilation target, so you can code in whichever language you prefer.

Joe recommends an article by Lin Clark. Lin is an engineer on the Mozilla Developer Relations team, and has produced a set of articles and talks on Web Assembly. Joe’s commentary on JavaScript’s history is based on Lin’s cartoon intro to WebAssembly.

Joe also covered Blazor, which is an experimental .NET web framework using C#/Razor and HTML that runs in the browser with WebAssembly.

Dave Glick has written this blog on how the pieces fit together.

There is a great website learn blazor, thanks to Mathieu Cornic for taking the time to make this for us. There’s also a good technical intro from Steve Sanderson.

Joe showed us that we can quickly get going with the FAQ on blazor.net.

Microsoft are currently positioning Blazor as an experimental framework that isn’t recommended for production. So try it out with one or two toy applications and see what you can create.

Ian Johnson was also at this talk and drew these Sketch Notes: