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Smuggling web standards

Ronald Chen October 3rd 2022

Web standards are being smuggled out of web browsers and it is amazing! Web standards are standards for technology in the browser. For example, JavaScript has been standardized by Ecma International TC39 as ECMAScript. All web browsers have a detailed specification on how JavaScript works.

The neat thing with web standards are web browsers need to implement them for all platforms. Since Chrome and Firefox are supported on macOS/Windows/Linux/x64/ARM/etc, this means all web standard are both hardware and software cross-platform!

Furthermore, as both Chrome and Firefox are open source their cross-platform implementation of web standards can be smuggled out. We have already seen this with Chrome's implementation of ECMAScript in their V8 engine and turning that into Node.js and Deno. Safari's JavaScriptCore powers Bun.

WebAssembly is the new binary target

WebAssembly is another example of a web standard that has been smuggled out of browsers. WebAssembly binaries are already being run directly on servers. Cranelift is the WebAssembly just-in-time compiler implemented for Firefox and has been smuggled out to Wasmtime & Wasmer. This enables Wasmtime and Wasmer to be cross-platform WebAssembly runtime/compiler.

WebGPU is the new graphics API target

WebGPU is an upcoming web standard that is the evolution of WebGL 2.0. WebGPU is a modern low-overhead graphics API. WebGPU is backed by Vulkan/Metal/DirectX 12 to render graphics in the browser.

Chrome's implementation of WebGPU is Dawn. Dawn has already been smuggled out to mach/gpu and wgpu. mach/gpu and wgpu allow one to build cross-platform applications for any modern graphics hardware.

Are you excited about web standards and want to use them everyday? You're in luck, Battlefy is hiring.



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