Firefox 22 Launches

The popular internet browser Mozilla Firefox launched their first stable version of the new browser that supports the WebRTC protocol in the form of firefox 22 and includes support for asm.js JavaScript subset (this offers near-native performance for web apps).
Most browser releases with the exception of Microsoft’s I.E. have switched to a rapid-release schedule. Both WebRTC and asm.js, however, have the potential to change how developers create web apps.


Asm.js is a technology that has massive potential. Asm.js is a subset of JavaScript that runs with near-native speed within the browser itself. It is a sub-language that “effectively describes a safe virtual machine for memory-unsafe languages like C or C++.” said Mozilla’s Brendan Eich.  Thanks to tools which can compile C and C++ code asm.js, developers can also use it to convert their C and C++ programs to run in the browser.  Asm.js currently gets to within 2x of native performance and the team at Mozilla is working hard to speed it up further. You may test these new features with a game demo called BananaBread , which uses WebGL, Emscripten, asm.js and WebRTC to “show how you can deliver high-end 3D multiplayer games while still maintaining a fast and stunning experience.”  Other small updates in version 22 include improved WebGL rendering performance, a download progress bar in the Dock application window on Mac OS X and support for display scaling options on high-resolution displays on Windows OS.

Built-In WebRTC Support
WebRTC allows developers to create web apps with built-in video and audio calls and it allows file sharing without the need for any third-party software or plugins.  A number of companies are already pushing WebRTC. but, only Google’s Chrome browser until now supported this tool in its mainstream browser releases. Now that Firefox also supports it we will likely see a large number of startups and established companies examine this technology in better detail. Microsoft, so far remains the only major vendor who has decided to go ahead with a different standard for the same functionality, so it would not surprise me if in the future Internet Explorer will support WebRTC out of the box.