Embrace the Cool Change and the Future of Programming at WasmCon and Rust Global in Bellevue, Washington
The Linux Foundation | 03 August 2023
Image: The skyline of Bellevue, Washington, as seen from the Mount Baker neighborhood of Seattle (SounderBruce, CC-BY-SA-4.0)
Amid a global heatwave, the tech world eagerly awaits a cooling shift. WasmCon, a conference dedicated to the WebAssembly (Wasm) programming language, is set to take place at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue, Washington, from September 6-7, 2023. Adding to the excitement, the conference will also host a focused event, Rust Global, dedicated to the Rust programming language. Rust Global will kick off on the first day of the WasmCon conference, September 6, offering a comprehensive exploration of these two transformative technologies. The full program schedule for the conference has recently been announced, which you can view here.
Bellevue, a city just across Lake Washington from Seattle, is a refreshing retreat known for its vibrant culture, diverse food scene, and temperate weather. In early September, you can look forward to a respite from the summer heat, with highs typically in the low 70s (Fahrenheit) and lows in the mid-50s. This is the perfect weather to explore the city's lush parks, waterfront views, and bustling downtown area, offering a much-needed break from the sweltering temperatures experienced globally.
WebAssembly (Wasm): The future of cloud computing and web performance
Register for WasmCon today! Early Bird Registration ends August 7.
WebAssembly, or Wasm, is a binary instruction format that acts as a virtual machine, enabling high-performance applications on web pages. It's platform-independent, meaning it can run in any browser on any operating system. This opens up a world of possibilities for web development.
Wasm is designed to be a low-level virtual machine that runs code at near-native speed. This makes it ideal for tasks that require high performance, such as gaming, music streaming, video editing, and data visualization. For instance, companies like Autodesk use Wasm to bring their desktop applications to the web. Google Earth, which requires significant computational power to render 3D graphics, also uses Wasm to run smoothly in browsers.
But Wasm's potential extends beyond the browser. As Nigel Poulton explains in his article, "WebAssembly: The future of cloud computing," Wasm is set to become the third wave of cloud computing, following virtual machines and containers. Wasm is smaller, faster, and more lightweight than containers, making it an ideal technology for the cloud. As the tooling and ecosystem around Wasm matures, it's expected to become more dominant in the cloud computing landscape.
The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) plays a significant role in this evolution. It hosts a variety of Wasm projects, such as WasmEdge and wasmCloud, which are focused on stretching Wasm into new environments. WasmEdge is a lightweight, high-performance, and extensible Wasm runtime for cloud native, edge, and decentralized applications. On the other hand, WasmCloud is a secure, distributed actor system designed to make it easy to build, package, and run applications at any scale, from the edge to the data center.
A real-world example of Wasm's impact can be seen in Figma, a browser-based interface design tool with a powerful 2D WebGL rendering engine. Figma's product is written in C++, which can easily be compiled into WebAssembly, making it a perfect demonstration of Wasm's power. After switching to WebAssembly, Figma saw its load time improve by more than 3x, regardless of document size. This is a significant improvement, especially for users who often create very large design documents and frequently switch between them.
As with any new software development platform, there are legal considerations for its use. Linux Foundation Research has published a report that examines WebAssembly from an open source license compliance perspective – we encourage you to read it as background material.
At WasmCon 2023, you can look forward to a series of workshops and sessions that delve into the practical applications of Wasm. For instance, the workshop "From Napkin Sketch to Running Your Apps at Scale with Cosmonic" will provide insights into how you can leverage Wasm to scale your applications. Another session, "Getting Started with AI and WebAssembly" by Angel M De Miguel Meana from VMware & Michael Yuan from WasmEdge / Second State, will explore the intersection of AI and Wasm.
Rust Global: A deep dive into Rust at WasmCon
WasmCon 2023 is not just about WebAssembly; it's also a platform for Rust enthusiasts. The conference will feature Rust Global, a dedicated event hosted by Rust Foundation. This event will allow attendees to delve deeper into Rust and its applications.
Rust is a systems programming language that prioritizes memory safety, concurrency, and performance. It emphasizes zero-cost abstractions, minimal runtime, and improved productivity. Its popularity among developers is evident, as it has been voted the "most loved" language in Stack Overflow's annual survey for four consecutive years.
Rust's design inherently prevents memory-related bugs, often the culprits behind crashes and security vulnerabilities in other languages. This makes Rust an ideal choice for systems programming, where such bugs can have serious implications. Major companies like Dropbox and Cloudflare have leveraged Rust to enhance the performance and reliability of their systems.
Rust's safety and performance features have even found their way into the Linux kernel, a critical component of one of the most widely used operating systems globally. This showcases Rust's potential to revolutionize systems programming and contribute to developing more reliable and secure software.
Beyond systems programming, Rust is also making strides in web development, thanks to frameworks like Rocket and Actix. Mozilla, the creator of Rust, has utilized it in the construction of parts of the Firefox browser.
Rust Global will commence with opening remarks by Nell Shamrell-Harrington, a Member Director of the Rust Foundation Board. Following this, Rebecca Rumbul, Executive Director & CEO of the Rust Foundation, will deliver a keynote on the future of Rust and Wasm.
The event will feature a series of sessions, including "Rust, Wasm, and Hypervisors Walk Into a Bar: Mixing a Cocktail of Layered Security" by Dan Chiarlone from Microsoft and "A Web of Rust: The Future of the Internet Depends on Trust" by Hannah Aubry from Fastly. The morning segment will conclude with a recap by Nell Shamrell-Harrington.
The afternoon will continue with more insightful sessions, such as "Wasm and Rust in the World of LLM Applications" by Michael Yuan from Second State and "Building iOS, Android and Web Apps that Share a Single Rust Core" by Stuart Harris from Red Badger. The day will wrap up with closing remarks by Nell Shamrell-Harrington, marking the end of a comprehensive exploration of Rust within the broader context of WasmCon.
Keynote sessions and more at WasmCon 2023
The keynote sessions, which will be announced shortly, will provide thought-provoking insights into the future of Wasm and Rust – be sure to check this space for more details! In addition, there will be a series of talks on various topics, including "Embedding WASM in the Future" by Chris Woods from Siemens Technology USA and "Don't Get Owned by Dependencies: How Firefox Uses Wasm to Protect Itself from Exploitable Libraries" by Shravan Narayan from the University of Texas at Austin.
The conference will also feature a Sponsor Showcase Booth Crawl, allowing attendees to network and explore the latest offerings from various companies in the WebAssembly ecosystem. Be sure to join the attendee reception on September 7 at Lucky Strike!
Bellevue: A city of culture, entertainment, and nightlife
Image: LF Editorial Director Jason Perlow at Din Tai Fung, a Chinese soup dumpling specialist with branches in Bellevue and Seattle.
Bellevue, Washington, is a city that perfectly blends technological innovation with cultural richness and vibrant nightlife. It's a city that caters to a variety of interests, making it an ideal destination for attendees of WasmCon and Rust Global.
Bellevue's cultural scene is dynamic and diverse. The Bellevue Arts Museum, located in the heart of downtown, is a hub for contemporary art, craft, and design. For those interested in performing arts, the Theatre at Meydenbauer Center offers a range of performances, from ballet to contemporary music.
Nature lovers can explore Bellevue's beautiful parks, including the Bellevue Botanical Garden and the Mercer Slough Nature Park. These green spaces offer a tranquil retreat from the city's bustling downtown area.
When the sun sets, Bellevue's nightlife comes alive. The city boasts a variety of upscale bars and lounges, perfect for unwinding after a day of conference sessions. Live music fans can enjoy jazz performances at Bake's Place, while comedy enthusiasts can catch a Parlor Live Comedy Club show.
Bellevue's culinary scene is as diverse as its population. In addition to American and European cuisines, it offers conference attendees the opportunity to try some of the country’s best Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Indian, and Ethiopian restaurants – and so many more. From fresh seafood to authentic international cuisines, there's something to satisfy every palate.
WasmCon and Rust Global are not just about learning new programming languages. They're about embracing the future of technology, exploring a vibrant city, and becoming part of a community that's shaping the world. As we look forward to cooler temperatures in the Pacific Northwest, these conferences offer a refreshing change of pace and a chance to dive into the cutting-edge programming world. So pack your bags, update your code editors, and prepare for an unforgettable Bellevue experience! Early bird registration ends August 7, so take advantage of the savings before it ends.
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