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Blazor Shows Biggest WebAssembly Usage Gain: Report

“It’s been a good year for Blazor!”

That’s one of the takeaways from the second consecutive “State of WebAssembly” report just released by UK-based software consultancy Scott Logic.

WebAssembly (sometimes called wasm) is the technology that makes Microsoft’s client-side Blazor possible, as it is a low-level assembly-like language that serves as a compilation target for several programming languages, allowing them to be used in browser-based projects that so far mostly rely on the ubiquitous, love it or hate it JavaScript.

These languages ​​include C/C++, C#, Rust and others.

The 2022 report, authored by Scott Logic CTO Colin Eberhardt, follows his 2021 report based on a survey that interviewed hundreds of people to learn more about where and how people are using technology and their thoughts for the future.

This year, like last year, Rust proved to be the most frequently used and sought-after programming language for WebAssembly.

“Rust again comes out on top, with 45% saying they use it frequently or sometimes,” Eberhardt said. “WebAssembly and Rust have a pretty close relationship, most WebAssembly runtimes are written in Rust, as are the various wasm-based platforms. It also benefits from some of the best tooling, so this result isn’t a big surprise. .”

As Rust’s usage and desirability continued to climb, the web development framework Blazor gained strength in the report, which treats Blazor as a programming language, although it isn’t.

On this scale of desirability, Blazor has fallen from sixth place in 2021 to fourth this year among seven “programming languages”, as seen in the graph below which illustrates the percentage of respondents who use a given language “often”. or “sometimes” compared to last year.

Languages ​​used frequently or sometimes compared to last year
[Click on image for larger view.] Which languages ​​people most want to use for WebAssembly development compared to last year (source: Scott Logic).

Eberhardt said, “Rust has seen a modest increase in desirability, but the biggest climber is Blazor, followed by Go just behind.”

Commenting on another chart that shows which language people most want to use for WebAssembly development (below), he said, “It shows that Rust usage has been growing steadily, but the biggest climbers are Blazor and Python. It has certainly been a big year for Python. , with the launch of Pyscript, an interactive online playground. AssemblyScript saw the biggest drop in usage, which surprised me a bit. I wonder if some respondents are misidentifying AssemblyScript as JavaScript?”

Languages ​​used frequently or sometimes compared to last year
[Click on image for larger view.] Languages ​​used frequently or sometimes compared to last year (source: Scott Logic).

Yet another chart also sheds light on the desired languages ​​in the 2022 report, outlining the percentage of respondents who want to use a language a lot, a little, don’t want to use it, or haven’t heard of it.

Languages ​​used frequently or sometimes compared to last year
[Click on image for larger view.] What languages ​​people most want to use for WebAssembly development (source: Scott Logic).

Along with a surge in usage and desire for Blazor, other report highlights presented by Eberhardt include:

  • The use and desirability of rust continued to increase
  • Python has seen a surge in usage
  • JavaScript has become a viable WebAssembly language
  • Wasmtime is the most used runtime
  • The use of WebAssembly for Serverless, Containerization and as a plugin host has increased dramatically
  • Survey respondents use WebAssembly significantly more frequently
  • Non-browser APIs are what WebAssembly needs most

Eberhardt said a notable change from last year is in why people use WebAssembly, noting a huge increase in usage for serverless and containerization projects, as well as its progression as a technology. of plug-ins.

“As I mentioned in the introduction, it’s been quite a year for WebAssembly,” he concluded. “I was certainly aware that this technology was moving more towards universal execution, but I didn’t expect the change to be so marked.”

The report is based on a survey that garnered 299 respondents, down from 250 last year, with no details on the exact methodology.

The report sparked heated discussion on the development-focused social site Hacker News and on Redditwhere a commenter pointed out that Blazor is not a programming language, but rather a framework in which C# is used.

“That’s a very good point – I’ll correct that for next year’s survey,” Eberhardt said. “I assume people who work on WebAssembly applications know that C# and Blazor are effectively synonymous, so the results shouldn’t be affected. [sic].”

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.

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