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It's very simple - there is no magic here. asm.js is just a "pidgin instruction set architecture", to allow communication between an emerging set of VMs - the browser runtimes - and a compiler backend. (The front-ends are the LLVM front-ends.)

The article is exactly right in saying that it's a way to route around JS. Javascript fanboys should not be praising asm.js, because it's a way to route around them. (Which is fine by me; JS is an abortion of a language that cannot die fast enough.)

I see asm.js as the Revenge of Compiled Languages. Coupled with generic interfaces for accessing underlying graphics and audio hardware, we're just right back where we started with Java applets. Write your apps in whatever language; run in the browser.




pwang, there are some people who actually enjoy coding in JS, believe me I am one of them.

One cool thing about JS is that you have runtimes for it in computers, tablets, phones, TVs and most current videogames so you can experiment and build stuff for a variety of hardware that no other language can reach as easily (of course you can reach anything with C but it is not easier).

Remember all that could be done in JS two years ago and all we could do now. Imagine by the end of the next year what we'll be able to.

I don't care if people are using LLVM to cross-compile other languages to the JS runtime, this kind of approach and research makes better runtimes and both camps benefit, the people who hate JS can use their fav language and those that enjoy JS end up with a better runtime.


I (not pwang) think it's an abortion of a language because the syntax, scoping and the language as are a whole is a pain to use. Sure, it runs on pretty much everything but that doesn't mean it's suddenly enjoyable to use. The only outstanding feature of JS is that it runs on lots of stuff but it need not be the only one.

As you say getting other languages to run is a good thing because those who don't like JS don't have to use it (or indirectly use it with stuff like Coffeescript).


just to be clear, I don't think that JS reason to be enjoyable is that it runs everywhere. I do enjoy the prototypical inheritance, I like the scope and the language in general. I don't like coffeescript but not due to a technical reason, its about personal taste, I'd rather work in JS. To each their own, the fact that we have a non-proprietary language that is available everywhere is a very good thing.

IMHO most people that do not enjoy JS is because they approach it from a mindset of an OOP programmer. People try to treat it like Java or approach it like a toy language to cook quick jQuery script then they feel frustrated. I am not saying that JS is everyones cup of tea but some people like me enjoy it.


The ideas that CoffeeScript is an acceptable replacement for JS and that "the language as a whole is a pain to use" aren't compatible.


Some people actually enjoy pain...


>Javascript fanboys should not be praising asm.js, because it's a way to route around them.

Depends on what kind of JavaScript fanboy you are. If you love the language and want applications to be written, from the ground up, in JS, asm.js is not your friend. If you want to build applications that run on pretty much every platform + kitchen sink, this is for you.


Doesn't that just make you a browser+web fan, and not a JS fan?




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