WebAssembly may go live in browsers this year

The portable code format promises to bring native speed to Web apps

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The WebAssembly project to improve the Web's performance now has experimental implementations in place for major browsers. Developers also are advancing the design of the binary format that serves as the technology's linchpin.

In fact, WebAssembly could be ready this year on several browsers.

First detailed last June, WebAssembly features a portable code format to run safely in browsers at native speeds. "It's designed to be efficient for browsers to download, decode, and compile, and it runs fast by taking advantage of common, widely available hardware capabilities," said Luke Wagner, a programmer at Mozilla. He has served as a co-chairman in the World Wide Web Consortium community group overseeing WebAssembly. Google, Mozilla, Microsoft, and Apple all have participated in the development process.

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