Cadillac WebAssembly Line

by Jay Cuthrell
Share and discuss on LinkedIn or HN

Albert King - “Cadillac Assembly Line” (1980)

Getting Informed

This week we take a look at WebAssembly (Wasm)1 and the implications of ubiquitous2 stack-based virtual machines. For example, even from a low end Linux or even Apple laptop running MacOS you can open Safari browser and run a late 1990s classic game like Diablo3 🤯.

(Note: the author may have wasted much time on the veracity of this claim 🤣🕹️)

Please Subscribe! 🤓

Looking back at the early web years 2004 to 2015, one could argue a central figure was present to drive an industry to a wider vibrant JavaScript ecosystem to the future of ubiquitous stack-based virtual machines. In fact, that central figure might not be top of mind.

Steve Jobs? Nope.

Larry Page or Sergey Brin? Nope. (but closer!)

Ten years ago, a fast rising executive at Google4 saw a future where all you would ever need was a web browser run any application anywhere on very low cost computing devices. BTW, the central figure is that same young executive at Google who is now the CEO of Alphabet, Sundar Pichai.

So, if you’ve ever marveled at what is possible “in a web browser” these days then you will want to remember what Sundar Pichai and his team at Google set in motion over a decade ago. But, there’s more to this topic than playing Diablo in a web browser.

When I make my first check 🎶

Let’s look back at the year 2014. Cool references in the video below are many:

  • Portable Native Client (PNaCl aka pinnacle)
  • Lots of preamble to a future…

JavaScript had experienced a decade of growth, performance improvements, and by 2015, JSConf was already in it’s fifth year5 of bringing the JavaScript community together.

Cool references in this video from 2015 are also many:

By 2016, another Web Assembly video appears… and there’s still a space. And again there a few more cool references:

  • Specific reference to “larger content”

  • and ~15 minutes of Q&A including two categories of speculative use cases

    • computationally expensive number crunching (games, media, data)
    • server side pre-processing of what was previously client side processing

Won’t you come on home 🎶

By 2019, there are historical perspective videos available. What’s interesting is how quickly the appetites shifted for what is now a new language of the web.

By 2021, there are State of Union of WebAssembly tracking posts and the speculation continues. There are even “using Wasm” with XYZ on very much not web browsers — such as Envoy proxy use cases within Istio environments.

By 2022, there are more companies donating back to the CNCF as well and strong VC interests in play7.

[Twitter avatar for @appfactoryPeter Cilliers-Pistorius 🇺🇦 @appfactoryWe’ve open sourced Postgres WASM

Hat tip to all the amazing engineers that made it possible for us to glue this together, including those at @supabase and @_snaplet

Join the discussion on HN! Image]([2:59 PM ∙ Oct 3, 2022

328Likes40Retweets]([Twitter avatar for @SapphireVCSapphire Ventures @SapphireVC1/ WebAssembly (aka Wasm) has been hailed as the “JavaScript killer” and the latest attempt to lead developers to the promised land of “write once, run anywhere."

Sapphire’s @aranum, @jtliu_, & David Carter are taking a closer look at the Wasm landscape👇👀 Image]([5:37 PM ∙ Oct 18, 2022

51Likes10Retweets]( a result, it is worth keeping an eye on these areas:

So, what will the next big breakout Wasm use case8 be in 2023?

Until then… Place your bets!


I am linking to my disclosure.




4Read: Google offers low-budget ARM-based Chromebook

5Watch: JSConf History





✍️ 🤓 Edit on Github 🐙 ✍️

Share and discuss on LinkedIn or HN
  • Get Fudge Sunday each week