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Coding for a Finite World

Coding for a Finite World

(This is meant to be the first entry of a series which will cover individual points more in depth. We’ll see how that goes.) We’re the tech industry. We have ideas. We have ideas all the time. And we’re used to turn our ideas into applications. So, how does it go… here’s the back-end component… here’s the front-end component. We’ll write the former in Python, or perhaps JavaScript, to optimize for prototyping. After all, we have so many ideas, we need the ability to iterate quickly. Sprinkle in a few dependencies, that will speed us up. Oh, and let’s use ChatGPT and Copilot, we’ll be even faster. Oh, and performance, yeah, performance: microservices, Kafka, Redis, Kubernetes… we’re now ready to scale up. Oh, Sentry, Prometheus and Grafana, too, where would we be without ’em? For the front-end, we’ll write a website, and for mobile, Electron. Oh, wait a second, we need to make money and to fidelize our users! Let me see… ads, tracking, and good reasons to revisit our app, perhaps a little NFT here, gamification… alright, we should be good. Three… two… one… and we have shipped v1! Also, the world is burning. Perhaps it’s time we revisited how we do things?

JavaScript Binary AST diaries - How to replace proving with validating for fun and profit

In this entry, I’d like to discuss one of the most interesting and unusual aspects of the Binary AST: how we gain performance by turning proof-building into validation, and why this is very good news for performance (and maybe not so good news for file size).

Binary AST - Motivations and Design Decisions - Part 1

“The key to making programs fast is to make them do practically nothing.” - Mike Haertel, creator of GNU Grep. Binary AST - “Binary Abstract Syntax Tree” - is Mozilla’s proposal for specifying a binary-encoded syntax for JS with the intent of allowing browsers and other JS-executing environments to parse and load code as much as 80% faster than standard minified JS. It has recently cleared Stage 1 of the TC39 standards process, and while the final byte-level format isn’t completely nailed down, we’re confident that the final implementation will deliver the impressive performance improvements promised by the prototype.

JavaScript Binary AST Engineering Newsletter #1

Hey, all cool kids have exciting Engineering Newsletters these days, so it’s high time the JavaScript Binary AST got one! Summary JavaScript Binary AST is a joint project between Mozilla and Facebook to rethink how JavaScript source code is stored/transmitted/parsed. We expect that this project will help visibly speed up the loading of large codebases of JS applications and will have a large impact on the JS development community, including both web developers, Node developers, add-on developers and ourselves.

Towards a JavaScript Binary AST

In this blog post, I would like to introduce the JavaScript Binary AST, an ongoing project that we hope will help make webpages load faster, along with a number of other benefits. A little background Over the years, JavaScript has grown from one of the slowest scripting languages available to a high-performance powerhouse, fast enough that it can run desktop, server, mobile and even embedded applications, whether through web browsers or other environments.