Is Wasm the Future of Web Development?

WebAssembly, often abbreviated as Wasm, is a low-level binary format that serves as a portable target for the compilation of high-level languages like C, C++, and Rust. It is designed to be an efficient and secure compilation target for web browsers, enabling web applications to run at near-native speeds. The WebAssembly code is executed in a sandboxed environment within the browser, ensuring security and preventing malicious code from causing harm.

The Emergence of WebAssembly

WebAssembly was first introduced in 2015 as a collaborative effort between major browser vendors, including Mozilla, Google, Microsoft, and Apple. Its goal was to create a new standard for web browsers, allowing developers to write performant applications without the need for plugins or platform-specific code.

Benefits of WebAssembly

  1. Blazing Fast Performance: By taking advantage of a binary format, Wasm reduces the parsing and loading time of web applications, leading to quicker load times and a seamless user experience. Additionally, its ability to run close to native speed allows developers to create complex and resource-intensive applications that were previously challenging to implement on the web.
  2. Language Agnostic: WebAssembly is not tied to a specific programming language. Instead, it supports multiple languages through their respective compilers. This flexibility empowers developers to choose the language they are most proficient in and compile it to WebAssembly, thereby expanding the horizons of web development.
  3. Enhanced Security: WebAssembly operates in a sandboxed environment, ensuring that the code cannot access resources outside of its designated boundaries. This inherent security measure protects users from potential threats and malicious activities, making the web a safer place for everyone.
  4. Seamless Integration: WebAssembly seamlessly integrates with existing web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Developers can incorporate WebAssembly modules into their web applications without any major disruptions, allowing for a gradual migration of legacy systems to take advantage of its benefits.

How WebAssembly Works

Understanding how WebAssembly works is essential to grasp its full potential. Here’s a simplified breakdown of the process:

  1. Compilation: The source code written in a high-level language like C, C++, or Rust is compiled into WebAssembly bytecode. This bytecode is a low-level binary format that is designed to be fast to parse and execute.
  2. Loading: The WebAssembly bytecode is loaded into the web browser. The browser’s WebAssembly engine parses the bytecode and converts it into machine code that can be executed directly by the computer’s processor.
  3. Execution: The WebAssembly code is executed at near-native speed, providing a fast and efficient runtime for web applications.

Comparing WebAssembly to Traditional Languages

WebAssembly is not intended to replace traditional web languages like JavaScript, Python, or Java, but rather to complement them. Let’s delve deeper into the comparison:

WebAssembly vs JavaScript

JavaScript has been the backbone of web development for many years, and it continues to evolve with new features and capabilities. However, there are certain computational tasks, such as 3D graphics, video editing, or physics simulations, where JavaScript might not be the most efficient choice. This is where WebAssembly comes into play.

A study conducted by the University of Minho in Portugal found that while JavaScript can be more energy efficient and faster than Wasm when it comes to in-lab micro-benchmarks, in real applications Wasm outshines JavaScript on speed and energy efficiency — sometimes by as much as 30% on average.

Moreover, another research indicated that WebAssembly produces significant performance differences compared to JavaScript. For instance, in the case of a Gameboy/Gameboy Color Emulator, written in TypeScript to benchmark Wasm, WebAssembly was found to outperform JavaScript.

WebAssembly vs Python

Python is known for its simplicity and readability, which makes it a popular choice for a wide range of applications. However, when it comes to performance, Python has some limitations, especially for computationally intensive tasks.

WebAssembly can help overcome these limitations. By using WebAssembly, Python code can be compiled into highly optimized, low-level binary code that runs at near-native speed, significantly enhancing application performance and reducing network latency. This performance boost allows Python developers to tackle computationally intensive tasks, process large datasets, or build real-time applications with enhanced responsiveness.

WebAssembly vs Java

Java, like JavaScript, is a high-level language that has been widely used in web development. However, Java requires the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) to run, which can add overhead and reduce performance.

WebAssembly, on the other hand, runs directly in the browser without the need for a virtual machine, which can lead to improved performance. Furthermore, WebAssembly’s binary format is designed to be fast to parse and execute, which can provide a significant speed advantage over Java.


WebAssembly represents a significant step forward in the world of web development. Its ability to provide near-native performance, support for multiple languages, enhanced security, and seamless integration with existing web technologies makes it a powerful tool for modern web developers.

At Verbat, we are always exploring new technologies and trends to deliver the best solutions for our clients. If you’re interested in leveraging the power of WebAssembly for your web applications, feel free to reach out to us. We’d be more than happy to help you navigate the future of web development. Remember, the future is always one step ahead, and at Verbat, we’re committed to taking that step with you.