# Introduction

AssemblyScript compiles a strict variant of TypeScript (opens new window) (a typed superset of JavaScript) to WebAssembly (opens new window) using Binaryen (opens new window), looking like:

export function fib(n: i32): i32 {
  var a = 0, b = 1
  if (n > 0) {
    while (--n) {
      let t = a + b
      a = b
      b = t
    }
    return b
  }
  return a
}
asc fib.ts -b fib.wasm -O3

Its architecture differs from a JavaScript VM in that it compiles a program ahead of time, quite similar to your typical C compiler. One can think of it as TypeScript syntax on top of WebAssembly instructions, statically compiled, to produce lean and mean WebAssembly binaries.

# In a nutshell

On top of WebAssembly types, AssemblyScript not only provides low-level built-ins to access WebAssembly features directly, making it suitable as a thin layer on top of Wasm, but also comes with its own JavaScript-like standard library and a relatively small memory management and garbage collection runtime, making it suitable as a general purpose higher-level language for WebAssembly today.

For example, on the lowest level, memory can be accessed using the load<T>(offset) and store<T>(offset, value) built-ins that compile to WebAssembly instructions directly

store<i32>(8, load<i32>(0) + load<i32>(4))

while the standard library provides higher-level implementations of Array, ArrayBuffer, DataView, Math (double and single precision), Uint8Array, String, Map, Set etc.:

var view = new Int32Array(12)
view[2] = view[0] + view[1]

It is worth to note, however, that AssemblyScript still has its quirks, and we are patiently waiting for future WebAssembly features (marked as 🦄 throughout the documentation) to become available for us to use.

Sounds appealing to you? Read on!