WebAssembly, now a web standard, aims to grow beyond the browser. Wasm runtimes are implementing proposals to achieve this vision. Fitzgerald tells us about his recent work on WebAssembly tooling and his implementation of reference types in the Wasmtime WebAssembly runtime -- a prelude to interface types and easy interoperation between Wasm and a host language.
wasm-smithtest case generator, hard-to-find bugs in the
wasmparserRust crate have been fixed
Although Wasmtime is implemented in Rust, the developers maintain APIs for embedding it within various other languages:
As Wasmtime recently implemented the reference types proposals, InfoQ interviewed Nick Fitzgerald, who implemented the feature, on his work involving WebAssembly and the next steps for WebAssembly and Wasmtime.
InfoQ: Can you tell us more about you?
Nick Fitzgerald: I work on the Wasmtime WebAssembly runtime, the Cranelift code generator, and various parts of the Rust and WebAssembly ecosystems.
Outside of work, I enjoy riding bikes (both for getting places and for doing fun tricks on my BMX), listening to hip-hop (I’ve had “CLONES” by Tierra Whack on repeat recently), and reading books (I just finished The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin and it was stunning!). I occasionally make algorithmic art and draw it with a pen plotter. Pen plotters are a precursor to modern printers—pretty much obsolete and only used by artists these days—that hold a pen in a little robot arm and draw vector graphics. I recently adopted a kitty cat from the local humane society; his name is Goomba. My pronouns are he/him.
InfoQ: How did you get involved with WebAssembly?
Fitzgerald: I stumbled into WebAssembly, but looking back this wasn't really an accident: I was in the best position to stumble into it I could have been.
debug_linesection. With a source map, for example, the developer tools can show you “line 42, column 8 in my-module.js” rather than “line 1, column 643243982346519205631 in file minified-bundle.js.”
After the source map project, I was given the opportunity to work on Rust and WebAssembly full time at Mozilla. I led the Rust project’s WebAssembly working group, where we fleshed out the Rust and WebAssembly ecosystem and tooling. These days I’m focusing on the Wasmtime WebAssembly runtime for running Wasm outside the Web and the Cranelift code generator that Wasmtime uses under the covers.
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