2 min Devops

Developers are flocking to WebAssembly, but they say it needs more functionality

Developers are flocking to WebAssembly, but they say it needs more functionality

The open Web application development tool WebAssembly is increasingly being used for a variety of applications, but still needs more functionality. These are the findings from a study conducted by software developer Scott Logic.

WebAssembly is a programming language that can be run in modern Web browsers. It focuses on low-level programming, with a compact binary format. This allows it to integrate certain other programming languages, such as C/C++, C# and Rust with a compilation target, so these languages can run on the Internet.

More use for other applications

Developers are increasingly using the programming language for applications beyond the Web browser, according to Scott Logic’s recent State of WebAssembly 2023 survey.

About 30 percent of respondents say they use it for backend (excluding serverless) applications and 40 percent use it as a plug-in environment. For serverless, based on the chart from the survey, the percentage is about 15 percent.

Web development still remains the largest usage category, but the share is decreasing slightly.

WebAssembly-applicaties hebben in 2020 een toenemende vraag naar meer functionaliteit gezien, waarbij het gebruik van WebAssembly vaker voorkomt.

The most preferred programming language that developers use to program in the tool is Rust. JavaScript, C++ and direct coding in the proprietary WebAssembly Text Format follow this popular language.

WebAssembly wint aan populariteit met behoefte aan meer functionaliteit.

More features desired

The survey further shows that WebAssembly currently lacks several features that developers would like to use.

The most desired feature is better integration with so-called “non-browser” APIs, followed by better debugging functionality and better integration with JavaScript and browser APIs.

Is er meer functionaliteit gewenst voor WebAssembly?

Other functionality for which users expressed a desire include threads, a component model, garbage collection and exception handling.

Een staafdiagram met de gewenste webfuncties, met meer functionaliteit en een verhoogd gebruik van WebAssembly.

Apart from the component model, these specific features are already part of the tool’s latest state or are in a standardization phase. This means they are ready for use or in a final stage, according to the researchers.

Tip: Why the Rust programming language keeps getting more popular