Big Endianness and WebAssembly
  • Acolyte of the Butterfly
    Acolyte of the Butterfly
    Samurai_Crow
    Posts: 119 from 2009/12/10
    From: Minnesota, USA
    At one point I thought that having a bytecode for binaries in the browser would be a boon for third party operating systems and their hardware manufacturers. Sadly there is strong resistance to making WebAssembly biendian instead of strictly little-endian.

    Since G5 PowerPC systems lack a key little-endian load and store instruction that was previously included in most prior PowerPC processors, will it be much extra work to use Altivec permutations on G5 processors to perform that function? Will this endianness issue hurt us greatly on MorphOS?
  • »30.09.20 - 13:21
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  • ASiegel
    Posts: 1252 from 2003/2/15
    From: Central Europe
    WebAssembly is still barely relevant at this point. According to Alexa, less than 0.2 percent of the most popular 1 million websites on the internet used WebAssembly in 2019.

    By the the time it will be a must-have feature, we will hopefully be running MorphOS on little-endian hardware (and in little-endian mode).

    On the other hand, Alexa also discovered that 50% of websites utilizing WebAssembly used it for nefarious purposes such as secret cryptomining or hiding malware. Maybe missing out on WebAssembly is not so bad afterall.
  • »30.09.20 - 15:48
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  • Acolyte of the Butterfly
    Acolyte of the Butterfly
    Samurai_Crow
    Posts: 119 from 2009/12/10
    From: Minnesota, USA
    That only counts the in-browser usage. WebAssembly could be used as a general-purpose bytecode outside the browser. This could allow 68k users to write code that self-ports without a JIT.
  • »30.09.20 - 19:22
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  • ASiegel
    Posts: 1252 from 2003/2/15
    From: Central Europe
    Quote:

    Samurai_Crow wrote:
    That only counts the in-browser usage.

    This is the only use of WebAssembly that has any obvious relevance for MorphOS.

    Quote:

    WebAssembly could be used as a general-purpose bytecode outside the browser. This could allow 68k users to write code that self-ports without a JIT.

    But JIT compilers already exist. Why would anybody waste time on reinventing the wheel? To validate your years of promoting a vision that very few people were interested in?

    Increasingly limited APIs and outdated developer tools are much bigger concerns for any developers with 68K hardware that plan to develop software that is also of interest to users of more modern PPC operating systems.

    If you follow the news, the biggest focus of new 68K software developments appears to be on titles that require either physical or emulated Commodore custom chips to run. Luckily, there are plenty of emulation options out there for running these titles on non-68K hardware. Outside of running these type of emulators inside a browser, WebAssembly has nothing worthwhile to offer in this context.
  • »01.10.20 - 08:48
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  • MorphOS Developer
    jacadcaps
    Posts: 2152 from 2003/3/5
    From: Canada
    Quote:

    ASiegel wrote:
    Quote:

    Samurai_Crow wrote:
    That only counts the in-browser usage.

    This is the only use of WebAssembly that has any obvious relevance for MorphOS.



    Or would have, if any of the MorphOS' web browsers supported WebAssembly.
  • »01.10.20 - 16:21
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  • Acolyte of the Butterfly
    Acolyte of the Butterfly
    Samurai_Crow
    Posts: 119 from 2009/12/10
    From: Minnesota, USA
    JavaScript and 68k JITs have overhead that static compilation eliminates but I think WebGL and audio support have higher priority in the browser.
  • »01.10.20 - 18:15
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  • ASiegel
    Posts: 1252 from 2003/2/15
    From: Central Europe
    Quote:

    jacadcaps wrote:
    Or would have, if any of the MorphOS' web browsers supported WebAssembly.

    It was established in the first post of this discussion that owners of big-endian hardware are out of luck as far as wasm is concerned.

    I referenced web browsing in a purely hypothetical context in response to the original poster's question regarding what MorphOS users might be missing out on due to a lack of wasm support.
  • »02.10.20 - 08:53
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