Curry On
July 16-17th, 2018

WebAssembly, Past, Present, and Future
Ben Titzer & Andreas Rossberg
Google & Dfinity Foundation


WebAssembly is a new, portable, low-level bytecode format for the web. It is the result of a collaboration of a large constellation of players from many companies and academia and opens a wide world of new possibilities for applications on the web. This talk will cover the history of WebAssembly from two its principal inventors and offer a (hopefully) fascinating view into the makings of a major web platform change. We’ll offer our personal perspectives and struggles, as well as cover today’s developments in WebAssembly and our hope for its future.


Ben is V8 team member at Google and one of the key founders of the WebAssembly project. His background and interests include JIT compiler technology, language design, and virtual machines. Prior to being a WebAssembly tech lead at Google, he was tech lead of the V8 compiler group at Google and also worked in Adwords. He was a core Maxine VM developer at Sun Labs where he built the C1X optimizing JIT. He received a PhD in Computer Science from UCLA in 2007 and a Bachelor’s from Purdue University in 2002.

Andreas is a senior staff researcher with the Dfinity Foundation. Before that he was a staff software engineer at Google, where he worked on V8, the JavaScript virtual machine. Prior to his move to industry he was a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems in Saarbrücken, Germany. He received a PhD earlier from Saarland University in 2007. He is one of the main designers of WebAssembly, authored its formalisation and specification, and is the champion of various proposals for enhancements. At Dfinity, he is working on employing WebAssembly for a next-gen blockchain-based platform for decentralised cloud computing. His other research interests also revolve around programming foundations and programming languages, including topics such as language design, type theory, module systems, semantics and formal reasoning, compilers and virtual machines, and functional programming.