JavaScript’s heyday as the only browser language is over

JavaScript has been the only standard language supported by browsers. The addition of WebAssembly will enable developers to target the browsers directly via the high performance WebAssembly binary format — written in any language and not targeting JavaScript as an intermediary language.

Adobe’s AMF (Action Message Format) was a similar technology, which actually enabled streaming of binaries directly to the client that made it hard to capture the binary for storing as a file. If you’ve ever worked with AMF, you’ll find that WebAssembly concept is similar:

Where AMF was a proprietary effort, a new format known as WebAssembly is making it's way up the curve in web technologies. Essentially WebAssembly (AKA wasm) is a binary format, which allows a more portable, size and load time alternative to the scripting language approach JavaScript uses.
 — WebAssembly will Break the JavaScript Monopoly

WebAssembly is a standards based technology and will be a real option for developers in the future for creating advanced plug-in like features for browser based applications. This could technically be done any given language, but low level languages like C and C++ are likely candidates.

Who knows, maybe JavaScript the React and Angular teams will decide to target WebAssembly directly instead of JavaScript, similar to what they do with React Native. JavaScript is something that will stay, but can become more focused on scripting the web again:

Scripting languages are often interpreted (rather than compiled). Primitives are usually the elementary tasks or API calls, and the language allows them to be combined into more complex programs.

The implications of WebAssembly are yet to be seen, but with all the browser vendors onboard, it looks like JavaScript finally has competition in the browser — in the form of WebAssembly as a complementary technology for more advanced implementations.

Good times to be a web developer — as always!