Intel, Mozilla, Red Hat, and Fastly announced today the creation of the Bytecode Alliance, an open-source foundation that will work to make WebAssembly into a cross-platform runtime that can be used on native mobile, desktop, and server environments, and not just inside browsers.
WebAssembly is a relatively new technology. It's a standard formally adopted in 2017 that defines a new binary format.
Currently, WebAssembly is supported in all major browsers, but developers are also exploring the idea of using WASM to create one singular app that they can run everywhere.
The Bytecode Alliance is an effort to standardize the efforts of creating cross-platform WebAssembly runtimes. At heart, it is an attempt to prevent the wide adoption of unsafe WebAssembly runtimes by providing tools developed with security in mind.
"WebAssembly is changing the web, but we believe WebAssembly can play an even bigger role in the software ecosystem as it continues to expand beyond browsers," said Luke Wagner, Distinguished Engineer at Mozilla and co-creator of WebAssembly.
"This is a unique moment in time at the dawn of a new technology, where we have the opportunity to fix what's broken and build new, secure-by-default foundations for native development that are portable and scalable. But we need to take deliberate, cross-industry action to ensure this happens in the right way," Wagner added.
"Together with our partners in the Bytecode Alliance, Mozilla is building these new secure foundations-for everything from small, embedded devices to large, computing clouds."
To get things started, all four founding members of the Bytecode Alliance have contributed their WebAssembly in-house tools to the foundation. This includes:
If this effort will succeed remains to be seen. The four founding members would like to see other tech companies join their fold. Unless the other major browser and OS vendors join, the foundation's efforts might be doomed in the long run.