Richard Bucker

Server Side Webassembly

Posted at — Jun 29, 2021

I’m not certain how I got to the point where I was asking myself about WebAssembly on the server. The search results seemed to be dominated by Rust and that’s kind of the anti-point.

What exactly is webassembly on the server side supposed to do?

I’ve heard webassembly referred to as both binary and some sort of JIT. Given that both rust and golang compile flags seem to ignore the CPU architecture when targeting WASM I have to believe that WASM is a byte-code. On the browser side of things this makes perfect sense. Complex JS is painful. Worse yet is the DOM and CSS… none of which is made any better or easier, however, the WASM-targetd-source is easier to reason about.

On the server-side (although GA in early 2020), does mean that one can target any hardware or OS so long as WASM is supported. This is the sort of the promise that Java made many years ago and was successful. However, it’s just promise that made Java as bad as it is. It’s the modern day COBOL and yet another technology ready for a tech apocalypse.

I’m passing on the server side WASM for now. I still believe that a simple code base where everything can be rewritten in a reasonable period of time is a much better solution.