|The Art of WebAssembly|
Author: Rick Battagline
WebAssembly (WA) is an attempt to introduce a universal intermediate language that can run in the browser among other things. In principle it should make it possible to take existing application written in C and other languages and compile them to WebAssembly and from there you should be able to run them anywhere. You must have heard this sort of idea before. It goes back to the early days of P code and today is best known as the Java byte code language and possibly .NET IL.
So a book on WA is a good idea even if you might not need it just yet. However, you need to know that this particular book takes the approach of teaching you all about the raw use of WA. That is no high-level language or compiler involved - just write the WA code as if it really was assembler.
Yes, this is low level coding!
The book starts off with a general look at WA and explains why you might want to use it. This is where we learn about Visual Studio and Node and look at a first simple example. Chapter 2 gets into the details of writing WA. Chapter 3 is all about functions and function tables.
Chapter 4 starts to tell you about things that you probably should know before you start with any assembly language - low-level bit manipulation. However, given the range of backgrounds programmers have today and the number who don't encounter low-level programming, perhaps it is a good idea to go over the basics. I found some of the illustrations a little too simplistic and more suitable for a dummy's book, but this is a style problem and doesn't make the book any less readable or useful. Chapter 5 explains how to use strings - always more difficult in a low-level language.
The rest of the book slowly moves away from learning the basics of WA to how to make it work with the rest of the system. Chapter 6 is about dealing with memory; Chapter 7 explains how to interact with the DOM to create a Web App; Chapter 8 extends this to working specifically with the Canvas element to create graphics; Chapter 9 is about optimization and profiling and Chapter 10 introduces the debugger.
|Last Updated ( Friday, 24 December 2021 )|