Life in the Fastly lane: Wasmtime devs migrate to edge cloud firm

Bytecode Alliance project Wasmtime’s server side/serverless WebAssembly (Wasm) team will be moving to edge content and app distributor Fastly,  the open source consortium said yesterday. Mozilla will continue to develop in-browser Wasm support based on its Cranelift code generation technology. 

Bytecode Alliance, which manages the creation of a secure platform around Wasm and associated standards, announced the team move in its 2020 annual update.  Both Mozilla and Fastly are founding members of the Alliance, alongside Intel and Red Hat. 

“Fastly will take on sponsorship for the work on the outside-the-browser projects that were hatched at Mozilla, including Wasmtime and WASI [the Wasm system interface], and we look forward to expanding the scope of that work further,” the Bytecode Alliance statement said. 

It added that Fastly would also concentrate on developing better Wasm  integration for different programming languages.

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The migrating team works on out-of-browser component Wasmtime, a lightweight runtime, which will be merged with Lucet, the open-sourced Wasm compiler and runtime environment behind Fastly’s Terrarium platform  – a long-term goal, according to the Alliance.

Team members have been announcing the move on Twitter, with a typical reaction from senior principal engineer Lin Clark saying of her first day at Fastly: “The WebAssembly team I was on at Mozilla was so fantastic… which is why it’s great that we’re sticking together.”

Reaction from the developer community has been mixed, with some hoping that the concentration of development effort in Fastly will accelerate the standardisation process. “It really depends how they tackle WASI and other standards from now on,” according to Syrus Akbary, CEO of Wasmerio, a company developing an alternative Wasm runtime.

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