Would Atom use WebAssembly in future to enhance performance?


#1

Hi, recently WebAssembly is getting progress, and V8 start to experimental support. I’m interested about the possibility in Atom. Would it be good to use it in Atom to enhance performance?




#2

To my understanding, WebAssembly is a way of exposing low-level JavaScript engine operations so that people can write compilers to that target. Conceivably this might be a way of optimizing performance … though mostly that is going to be around making features available that don’t exist now in JavaScript, like SIMD extensions or multi-threading. Of course, all of those things are already available to Atom right now if we want to drop down into native code. No WebAssembly required.

Personally, the really interesting thing about WebAssembly is that it will free us from JavaScript. People could write a compiler for any language (C++, C#, Ruby, Python, Intercal, etc) and compile straight to WebAssembly. Or we could write new and improved versions of JavaScript (TypeScript, Dart, CoffeeScript, etc) that don’t have to go through an intermediate JavaScript step first.

I think eventually Atom will use WebAssembly in some way or another. Right now, it is too early to tell in what capacities that will be.


#3

Thanks for your reply. It’s reasonable. Now it’s too early, I’m looking forward to see how it could benefit Atom in future!


#4

Anything that benefits browsers will benefit Atom. It’s a free ride.