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Erin Bensinger for The DEV Team

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#DevDiscuss: Uses of WebAssembly

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Time for #DevDiscuss β€” right here on DEV 😎

Inspired by @cocoandrew's Top 7 post, tonight’s topic is...uses of WebAssembly!


  • What are the best uses for WebAssembly, in your experience?
  • When should you avoid using WebAssembly?
  • Do you have any stories of WebAssembly triumphs and/or fails?

Top comments (11)

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

I think in a lot of ways, WebAssembly to me is the web's transition from being "documents that we hacked a lot of stuff on top of" to more of a true open-ended computing platform.

With that being said, I feel like the best use cases for WebAssembly these days are types of applications which have existed in other forms, can leverage the strengths of the web (convenience, ubiquity), and generally have utility.

I think games, and graphically intense "experiences" win out as some of the best directions to go in for useful WebAssembly applications, IMO.

leob profile image

Plus the ability to code for the web in languages other than JS/TS - I think that might at some point be or become a pretty broad use case ...

mimisan profile image
Tech reven

I totally agree with you

mimisan profile image
Tech reven

I would say Wasm Is the future because it provides a faster and more secure tech space for developers. Wasm is creating standards to make it more powerful with the new emerging technologies

fleker profile image

WebAssembly looks like the best way to migrate large legacy applications to the web sandbox, which can provide us with safer apps using modern features. However, if you're starting from scratch it seems like a real pain to do all the extra programming and UI work.

cocoandrew profile image

Yes, it can really be a pain in the neck at first, but later on, it gets simpler

siy profile image
Sergiy Yevtushenko

I think "Web" in "WebAssembly" is somewhat misleading. WebAssembly is a general purpose platform-independent compilation target. All kinds of dynamically loadable code - plugins, modules, etc. etc. will benefit from that. No need to limit user to one language anymore (and even no need to implement language) while still providing ability to customize/extend application via plugins/modules. Of course, web-based apps will remain, but I think they will not be a main use case.

One of (perhaps somewhat unexpected) uses of WebAssembly - implementation of new smart contract programming language in future version of Radix Network: Scrypto. I believe it will be a huge triumph of WebAssembly.

v3ss0n profile image
Phyo Arkar Lwin

I had used Emscripten since 2015 , i used it for porting ffmpeg to web , to encode audio and video and convert to different format on the fly. Later it was ported to WASM .
Porting C/C++ libs is very good usecase , other than that , i don't use because when it comes to software development , performance is second priority , productivity always wins over performance and JS can cover all what WASM does.

erinposting profile image
Erin Bensinger

Wanted to share that if you enjoyed this topic, you might like the Wasm Builders Community:

Wasm Builders 🧱

Learn, connect, and showcase everything to do with WebAssembly; an emerging technology powering web, cloud, IOT, and more!

mimisan profile image
Tech reven

Thank you ☺️

mediocredevops profile image
Leon Nunes

A lot of processing can be handled with webassembly and with wasi and rust it gets better on the backend.

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