How To Enable WebAssembly In Chrome

WebAssembly is the new kid making noise on the web today. If this is the first time you’ve heard this, you aren’t alone at least. Earlier this week, WebAssembly has reached a milestone, in which it has gained some support from the browser like Chrome and Firefox. Microsoft’s Edge supports, however, a preview version of Edge isn’t available to public at this moment.

A quick search for WebAssembly from caniuse.com yields sea of the red flag. But that doesn’t mean there is no support. As a matter of fact, all major browser are currently under development to support this standard.

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So what exactly is WebAssembly ?

WebAssembly or wasm is a new portable, size- and load-time-efficient format suitable for compilation to the web.

Here is a great demo http://webassembly.org/demo/ to showcase what WebAssembly can do in your browser.

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If you try to load this in Chrome you might get this following warning. It’s ok, we can enable the flag and run the demo.

Just go to  chrome://flags/#enable-webassembly

Find the flag and turn it to Enable, and Relaunch Now.

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You should now be able to run the demo game inside Chrome on your PC. Currently, the demo only works on Chrome and Firefox (latest). If you are looking for support for Edge, don’t worry, it’s coming. Microsoft stated clearly in their roadmap that a version of support will be in preview shortly.

2016-10-31_1704If you are a developer, this means a great deal as it introduced a new way of developing applications for the web. You can write code in regular C/C++ to compile to binary and make it executable inside Chrome via WebAssembly. Of course, this doesn’t replace the current JavaScript, rather providing an alternative to efficiently load binary executables and portable modules to the browser.

Jonathan Hu

Programming by day, Web Development, Canucks & Movies for spare time!
Co-founder of Next of Windows and a cool geek 🙂

Last updated: 11/03/2016

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