Go Time

BONUS – Go and WebAssembly (Wasm)

with Russ Cox

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This is a bonus segment in the after show of Go Time #77 with Russ Cox where we talk briefly about WebAssembly (Wasm) support in Go, and how that plays into Go being used as a web language.



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How closely did we touch WASM on the show? The only reason I ask is we just talked to Lin Clark about WASM and Go is lightly mentioned.

Yeah I saw that, I don’t think.. I think we might just have barely mentioned it but there is a WASM implementation that’s just landed and it is supposed to be going into Go1.11 as a sort of an experimental feature. So, you know, I think it works.

You talked about Rust a little bit in there and everybody compares Go to Rust. Should I learn Rust? Should I learn Go? Maybe the answer is both but curious if you see a similar perspective to the Rust perspective which is to be more widely adopted as a Web language, that WASM is a way for Rust to be that. Do you feel the same way for Go?

Yeah, sure! You know I think that people are itching for something that’s not JavaScript. I think the more things you have, the better right? Like your web browser is like it’s own little computer. You get to pick the language on the rest of your computer why not on your browser?

It’s picking up steam for sure..


That’s actually one of the things, being in the web space for so many years, that has actually really shocked me is I have seen kind of a lot of new languages and frameworks pop up in the back end side of things but for a period of time we had VBScript and JavaScript and then quickly VBScript went away but that JavaScript has mostly ran unchallenged in the browser for kind of the history of the Internet almost.

Yeah I don’t know about completely unchallenged but certainly [laughter]
Everything has to compile down to JavaScript at this point so you know there was a - what was it called? It was Microsoft’s one it was like VisualJ or something like that and then there was I don’t know.. There were a bunch of other ones and then there are all these Java-to-JavaScript things and they produce these enormous programs. But I think people have gotten pretty good at it and the browsers are also helping out right? The browsers actually are helping make this easier.


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