Kickoff @ Mozilla with Lin Clark, Till Schneidereit & Tyler McMullen

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We're excited to have our very first Meetup hosted by Mozilla! We're honored to have talks from Mozillians Lin Clark & Till Schneidereit, and Tyler McMullen from Fastly.

Agenda:

6:30 - Doors open
7–7:30pm - WebAssembly's Post-MVP Future, by Lin Clark and Till Schneidereit of Mozilla
7:45–8:15pm - Isolation without Containers, by Tyler McMullen of Fastly

Afterwards, we'll have time for questions and a post-event hangout.

About the talks:

*WebAssembly's Post-MVP Future*
If the web were a video game franchise, then WebAssembly would be its latest hero...

“During the first part of our journey, our hero completed the first quest—making it possible to play PC games and build applications like AutoCAD on the web. But this journey is far from over! Many a quest awaits; whole worlds are left to explore! The browser, and our hero’s current skill set, is just the beginning.”

In this talk, we’ll explore both charted and uncharted areas—from the JavaScript-rich lands of the browser, to the darkest reaches of the blockchain, to the airy heights of the cloud with CDNs, and more! And we’ll map out all of the features we need to unlock to take us to these new heights:
* Threading
* Garbage collection
* ES module integration and more!

*Isolation without Containers*
Software Fault Isolation, or SFI, is a way of preventing errors or unexpected behavior in one program from affecting others. Sandboxes, processes, containers, and VMs are all forms of SFI. SFI is a deeply important part of not only operating systems, but also browsers, and even server software.

The ways in which SFI can be implemented vary widely. Operating systems take advantage of hardware capabilities, like the MMU (Memory Management Unit). Others, like processes and containers, use facilities provided by the operating system kernel to provide isolation. Some types of sandboxing even use a combination of the compiler and runtime libraries in order to provide safety.

Each of the methods of implementing SFI have advantages and disadvantages, but we don't often think of them as different options toward a similar end goal. When we consider the growing prevalence of things like edge computing and "Internet of Things", our common patterns start to falter.

In this talk, we'll focus on how sandboxing compilers work. There are important benefits, but also major pitfalls and challenges to making it both safe and fast. We'll talk about machine code generation and optimization, trap handling, memory sandboxing, and how it all integrates into an existing system. This is all based on a real compiler and sandbox, currently in development, that is designed to run many thousands of sandboxes concurrently in server applications.

About the speakers:

Lin Clark makes code cartoons and is part of Mozilla’s Emerging Technologies Group, where she works with the WebAssembly and Rust teams. Her current project is making it easy to use WebAssembly with today’s JavaScript tools, including npm and bundlers.

Till Schneidereit directs the WebAssembly tooling efforts at Mozilla. His team is responsible for driving the Rust to WebAssembly compilation efforts; the Cranelift WebAssembly code generator; the Wasmtime WebAssembly runtime; and other projects around WebAssembly development and deployment. He’s also a delegate to the language standardization bodies for both Javascript and WebAssembly.

Tyler McMullen is CTO at Fastly, where he’s responsible for the system architecture and leads the company’s technology vision. As part of the founding team, Tyler built the first versions of Fastly’s Instant Purging system, API, and Real-time Analytics. Before Fastly, Tyler worked on text analysis and recommendations at Scribd. A self-described technology curmudgeon, he has experience in everything from web design to kernel development, and loathes all of it. Especially distributed systems.