Launch of the first version of Docker’s WebAssembly tooling

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Docker

In terms of finances, Docker is still active and probably doing better than it was during the early hype cycle that started the container revolution (only to then be eclipsed by Kubernetes and its ecosystem). The business today revealed the first technical preview of its support for WebAssembly (Wasm).

To execute web apps at native speeds with code written from C, C++, Rust, and other languages and run in a safe sandbox, browser vendors invented Wasm. Approximately 40 languages can now be compiled to Wasm. But Wasm is now moving to the back end, much like how node.js brought JavaScript to the server. For instance, Cloudflare supports it in its edge computing service.
As venture capitalists become more aware of the possibilities, we are also beginning to see investment rounds in this area; for instance, today Cosmonic announced a $8.5 million funding round for its new Wasm PaaS. Earlier this month, Fermyon revealed a $20 million Series A investment. It is obvious that Docker also wants to enter this market early.
The business warns that since this is still very much a technical preview, things might break. In this instance, the WasmEdge runtime is used to execute the container processes by the Docker Engine rather than the runc runtime, which is used by the rest of the Docker ecosystem.
The promise of WasmRdge is that it offers substantially faster startup times compared to Linux containers and that WasmEdge apps are significantly smaller. However, Docker doesn’t go into details here (and run faster).

Docker Engine

According to Docker’s Michael Irwin, in today’s release, “We envision Wasm as a complementary technology to Linux containers where developers can select which technology they use (or both!) depending on the use case.” And as the community explores the potential of Wasm, we want to make it simpler to create, construct, and execute Wasm apps using the expertise and resources you already have.

Along with the product update, Docker also revealed today that it will join the Bytecode Alliance, the non-profit organisation that created WebAssembly and the WebAssembly System Interface.

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