What is WebAssembly? The Dawn of a New Era
Eric Elliott
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I feel like I am going to cry. I’m so happy. For YEARS, I have sat by and wondered if anyone was stepping back and looking at what we have been doing with the web at all. We have been on a breakneck rollercoaster speeding straight into the maw of insanity. First we take a stateless static document markup format and decide to shoehorn in interactivity. And though it rapidly becomes a huge platform, entirely not limited to just writers and academicians and publishers, design of its core obstinately remains focused on document presentation.

When ASM.js came around, I thought the world had officially lost its mind. Instead of taking a step back and realizing that what people actually WANT (creators and users alike) is the ability to type in a couple words (or more often just a few letters thanks to autocomplete) and have an application, we just kept brute forcing the browser, adding additional leaky layers of abstraction one on top of another, building a creaky pile of hacks just so everyone could do exactly the things the whole system was designed NOT to do. And the whole time, we had millions of talented people entirely capable of designing a new system or expanding the existing one which actually wanted to be used the way everyone wanted to use it.

WebAssembly sounds like exactly what we have needed for a decade. I can’t wait to be able to write an application in any language I want and deploy it to the web. I can’t wait to see the new languages that will inevitably spring up to make developing web applications simple enough that beginning programmers can get engaged with it (having to wrestle with tricking a stateless client/server architecture into maintaining state on day 2 of learning programming concepts is a bit of a kick in the gut)!

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