firefox_10_closes_security_holeFirefox 22 has been officially launched and among the many changes and updates, the two that I find the most interesting are ASM.js and WebRTC. Now enabled by default, ASM.js is an optimization module for the browser’s JavaScript engine which makes it possible to execute JavaScript code within a 2X performance difference with native code according to Mozilla.


This module has been demonstrated at GDC 2013 when Epic Games showed a version of the Unreal Engine compiled to JavaScript and running smoothly on a PC. ASM.js is now available to all in Firefox 22. Being able to compile native C/C++ code into JavaScript would allow game developers to leverage huge codebases in a form that is native to the web. Believe me, no-on wants to rewrite something like Unreal Engine in JavaScript, so compiling it is a great way to go.

WebRTC is a standard Real-Time Communication API that is starting to make its way into web browsers. The goal is to define protocols that will enable apps like video chat or other data-intensive real-time exchanges to happen in web browsers without requiring any plug-ins. Mozilla has turned Web RTC “on” by default in this latest Firefox release.

It may take some time before we see an abundance of apps using these features, and to be frank, the workflow for ASM.js is still very much new, but from now on everyone can get their hands on it, so let’s wait and see what apps will surface first.

You can check the complete list of changes for Firefox 22, but other remarkable developments include: better high-resolution display support, Social services management, better webGL performance, improved memory management, CSS3 Flexbox support by default.

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