The future of WebAssembly outside the browser is the focus of newly formed industry group that will collaborate on implementing standards and propose new ones for the open source portable bytecode format.
WebAssembly provides isolation for running untrusted code, and each WebAssembly module is sandboxed by default. Bytecode Alliance wants to extend that security to make it safe to use untrusted code on any platform, whether it is on a server in the cloud, on a desktop computer, or in an IoT device.
The Bytecode Alliance’s vision also involves replacing microservices with container-like “nanoprocesses,” providing the composability of microservices without the weight, along with language interoperability. Nanoprocesses enable the development of massively modular applications.
Collaborations among the Bytecode Alliance members involve several projects:
- Runtimes including Wasmtime, which is a stand-alone WebAssembly runtime that can be used in a CLI tool or embedded into other systems. Another runtime the group is collaborating on is Lucet, a runtime for CDNs, which is being reconfigured to work with Wasmtime. Also on the docket is the WebAssemby Micro Runtime for embedded devices with limited resources.
- Runtime components including Cranelift, which is a code generator optimized for machine code, and WASI common, a stand-alone implementation of the WebAssembly System Interface that runtimes can use.
- Language tools including cargo-wasi, a lightweight Cargo subcommand that compiles Rust code to target WebAssembly and the WebAssembly System Interface for use outside the browser. Also featured are wat and wasmparser, which parse WebAssembly.
The Bytecode Alliance is welcoming contributions and industry participation. Interested parties can contact the organization at firstname.lastname@example.org.