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Understanding WebAssembly text format (developer.mozilla.org)
80 points by amyjess 247 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 11 comments



Are there any plans for Node.js to handle WebAssembly? This way we could get native libraries compiled directly to wasm avoiding problems with linking native libraries to current version of node, etc.

Of course not all libraries could be converted to WebAssembly...


Yes. In fact, it already does, you just need to pass `--expose-wasm` to Node: http://thecodebarbarian.com/getting-started-with-webassembly...


I hope we don't move in that direction. It would be a waste of perfectly fine CPU cycles and memory. Admittedly natively built modules pose a tooling challenge but we've been doing that for decades. WebAssembly could serve as a cross-platform fallback.


> It would be a waste of perfectly fine CPU cycles and memory

If history teaches us anything, is that we WILL move in that direction.


Programmers time is still worth much more than cpu time ...


That argument makes sense when we're talking about languages that improve productivity at the cost of efficiency, but consider that we are now talking specifically about code already written in a compiled language. There is no need to run say, libpng, in a virtual machine outside the browser.


You could upload wasm to npm and distribute code like that, no need to compile it on target machine. While node.js generally does not have problems with that I've seen missing tools/MS Build on Windows machines.


That used to be kind of true, but now # cycles/sec has hit a brick wall.


Here are my string-to-sexpr [0] parser and sexpr-to-ast parser [1] for the text format. There are some oddities such as forward function names and the fact that the binary form doesn't have a lot of these shortcuts, but overall it is very straightforward.

0 - https://github.com/cretz/asmble/blob/e9cdfc3b0feafc3d4f76b9d... 1 - https://github.com/cretz/asmble/blob/e9cdfc3b0feafc3d4f76b9d...


I don't see a way to embed debugging info inside/alongside wasm binary code. I still remember debugging Java that does not store parameter names in byte code resulting in weird generated names vs .NET that stores this info.

Maybe a source map for Web Assembly?


The fact that wasm function names dont show up in chrome is my current top pet peeve




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