Bringing The Web Up To Speed With WebAssembly
> People don't learn.
Do you? The comparison with Java has been made before, including on HN.
"While Java and Flash  came early to the Web and offered managed runtime plugins, neither supported highperformance low-level code, and today usage is declining due to security and performance issues. We discuss the differences between the JVM and WebAssembly in Section 8. "
"Microsoft’s ActiveX was a technology for code-signing x86 binaries to run on the Web. It relied entirely upon code signing and thus did not achieve safety through technical construction, but through a trust model."
I think you're misunderstanding Fil's point: JS is more expressive, and can often encode more things in a smaller package.
For same-code wasm / asm.js / x86 comparison (not what Fil was talking about) see section 7.3: https://github.com/WebAssembly/spec/blob/master/papers/pldi2...
Additionally, WebAssembly definitely needs to be parsed. See: https://github.com/WebKit/webkit/blob/master/Source/JavaScri... and https://github.com/WebKit/webkit/blob/master/Source/JavaScri...
That is incorrect. See: https://github.com/WebAssembly/spec/blob/master/papers/pldi2...
These are already old numbers, and section 7.3 says 33.7% more efficient. Were one to run updated numbers, and use more than Chrome and Firefox, I'm pretty sure the numbers would be better still.
You might be interested in this thread from a few weeks ago. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14341623
For me, the most helpful comment in that discussion was a link to this paper, written by the WebAssembly designers.
They often forget to mention, that WebAssembly is just a low-level programming language (much lower than C), it has extremely simple syntax (it has just four data types, no system calls, the specification takes 5 pages instead of 500 pages of C spec). You may call it a "bytecode", but typical bytecodes also have around-500-page specifications.
I recommend reading the official paper https://github.com/WebAssembly/spec/blob/master/papers/pldi2... (I learned more than about 50 "essays" that I read about WASM in the past).
This paper is great for understanding WASM in depth: