Before the the WebAssembly team was put together in 2015 Google was working on its next iteration of the plugin model with PNaCl (catchy?!) which stands for Portable Network Client. PNaCl used a machine independent instruction set that was executed within a sandbox, however, it failed to gain traction and was retired by 2017 in favour of WebAssembly.
The PDFTron team had been using PNaCl for their client-side PDF rendering engine with some very good results. In this blog post they take a look at how WebAssembly, and the newly added threading support, compares. The conclusions? A little mixed - there are a number of missing features that make it hard to use in practice, however the PDFTron team are optimistic for the future.
You can run WebAssembly in the browser, serverless in the cloud and as a smart contract engine on the blockchain. And now … you can run WebAssembly in a database! This brief article announces wasm support within Postgres via the popular Wasmer runtime. I’m sure it will not be long before I can run WebAssembly application on my smartwatch!
A great opportunity to see some of the creators of WebAssembly introducing the project and motivations in their own words. It’s good to put a face to some of these names. Although … I’m biting my tongue a little at the space between Web and Assembly in the title slide 😡😡😡
An earlier Smashing Magazine article looked at in-browser WebAssembly, with a neat example for previewing DNA sequencing data. This article takes things a step further by looking at how to deploy the code server-side using Cloudflare Workers.
Beyond Reality is a real-time face detection and face tracking SDK, giving facial landmarks allowing for real-time image augmentation, yes, you can use all this clever technology to give people moustaches or funny hats!