WebAssembly Weekly News

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Issue #152


The State of WebAssembly 2021

SCOTTLOGIC.COM

I started this weekly newsletter, on a whim, four years ago when WebAssembly was very much in its infancy. At the time, I wasn’t sure whether I would stick with it, and whether WebAssembly would gain traction. Today, with 151 issues of WasmWeekly published to thousands of subscribers, I am certain that this newsletter, and WebAssembly, are not going away!

Inspired very much by the State of JavaScript annual survey, it felt like the time was right to benchmark the current state of WebAssembly.

Last month I created a survey that 250 of you filled out (thank you 🙏). I’ve sifted through the results, created a bunch of charts and made a number of observations.

wasm survey

Here are the main findings:

  • Rust is the most frequently used and most desired WebAssembly language.
  • AssemblyScript is the second-most desireable WebAssembly language.
  • WebAssembly is expected to have a significant impact within Web, Serverless, Gaming and Containerisation applications.
  • Better debugging support is the area that people feels needs most attention.

Read the full results to find out more.

Speeding Up the Webcola Graph Viz Library with Rust + WebAssembly

CPRIMOZIC.NET

Force directed graphs are a useful tool for visualising networks and relationships. They also look pretty cool too.

In this blog post the author takes us through a detailed journey, exploring the performance of webcola, and how it can be improved using WebAssemby and Rust. Lots of great detail in this post. Interestingly, one of the first things I did with WebAssembly (back in 2017!) was port D3’s force layout to AsemblyScript.

Project Glitter - Music Visualisation

GITHUB.IO

This is a neat little project that was created during a one-week hackathon, a cool visualisation created using AssemblyScript, WebAssembly and WebGL. I very much approve!

How We Made One of the Fastest Mandelbrot Renderers on the Web

FEATHER.SYSTEMS

The mandelbrot set is a pretty classic tool for measuring performance and trying out various optimisation techniques. This blog post does a thorough job of looking at how AssemblyScript can be used to accelerate mandelbrot rendering, notably exploring threading and SIMD too.

One caveat, this isn’t the fastest mandelbrot renderer on the web, you’re not going to be able to beat WebGL / shaders when it comes to sheer number-crunching ability.

The Art of WebAssembly

WASMBOOK.COM

Rick Battagline recently published a new book, the Art of WebAssembly, which looks like a really great book for gaining an understanding of how WebAssembly works ‘under the hood’ through the eyes of a game developer.




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