We have decided to compare them, reflect upon them, and provide you with the best possible answers. To be honest, we already can tell you that there won’t be a winner per se, as neither of them is universally the best choice for every task. We’ll try to highlight the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and use cases with both of those languages. Basing on these observations, you should be able to choose whatever suits you best, depending on your priorities.
What is WebAssembly?
Why is it so unique?
- Efficient performance
- Libraries and frameworks
Existing libraries and frameworks are very handy and make developer’s lives easier when it comes to programming and developing applications (both web and mobile), as well as other digital products. This is because they can simply choose the functions they need most and benefit from them.
- Browser Support
- Debugging Support failures
- DOM interpretation
1. Mobile games
2. Mobile applications development
3. Creating interfaces for Web Applications
4. Powering server-side applications using Node.js.
The advantages of WebAssembly
WebAssembly was designed to conduct high-performance actions. It’s near-native in speed and very satisfying in its quality, despite not being a high-level language.
- Cross-platform standard
- Statically typed
One of the main goals of designing WebAssembly was its portability. To run any application on a device, it has to be compatible with the device’s processor architecture and operating system. That means compiling source code for each possible combination of operating systems and processors in the architecture that you want to support. With WebAssembly, you need just one extra step and your app will run in almost every modern browser. The outcome is nearly native code with no installations, local security concerns, or used disk space.
WebAssembly was built with the possible security issues in mind. An occurrence quite common and well known in web development. Therefore WASM's goal was to protect users from potential web insecurities while empowering developers to produce secure applications. WebAssembly’s module system provides a secure application experience by isolating module execution in a sandboxed environment.
The disadvantages of WebAssembly
- Still in the early stages of development
- Lack of garbage collection (GC)
One of the cons that developers put focus on is the fact that WebAssembly doesn’t provide a garbage collector. Actually, it involves no tools for memory management. What it does is simply providing you with a block of linear memory. Languages like WebAssembly, that don't use a garbage collection, still need some mechanisms for managing the allocation of memory. Fortunately, with the plans for further development of WebAssembly, there are already talks of adding GC to the new upgrades.
- DOM support via JS
Although WASM was built with security in mind, some features make it useful for malicious attackers. Because WASM is compiled code, browsers might find detecting security issues in the obfuscated format challenging. The same module system that makes the execution in a sandboxed environment possible can bring some potential security issues that could make it easier for criminals to hide malware or execute some phishing attempts.
- Language Complexity
When Should You Use WebAssembly?
Given the benefits of WebAssembly, developers should use it when creating computing-intensive apps. They can use many different languages of their choice and then compile the code to the web using WASM.
WebAssembly use cases
1. Hybrid-platform apps
2. Developing CPU-intensive games
3. Complicated scientific simulations
4. Music streaming
5. Video rendering
6. Video streaming
7. Image caching
8. Developing sensitive-data applications