We are pleased to announce our new WebAssembly framework, Spin. Spin is a foundational piece of the Fermyon Platform. It is also a great way to get started writing WebAssembly for the cloud.
What is a WebAssembly Framework?
We think of WebAssembly primarily as a compile target. Pick a language, write your code, and compile it to Wasm. But what kinds of code does one write in WebAssembly?
The original way to run a WebAssembly module was in the browser. For that reason, early WebAssembly effort was focused on optimizing performance-intensive code to be executed on a web page or client-side web app.
WebAssembly has now moved beyond the browser. Some platforms, like the Envoy proxy, allow you to write plugins in Wasm. Command line runtimes like Wasmtime and WAMR run Wasm binaries on the command line, allowing developers to write a single CLI application that can run on Windows, macOS, and Linux (regardless of the underlying architecture).
Here at Fermyon, we are most excited about the prospect of writing microservices and server-side web applications in WebAssembly. We gave a preview of this when we built Wagi. But with Spin, we’re taking things to a new level. Most specifically, Spin offers a framework for building apps.
What do we mean when we talk about a “framework”? A framework provides a set of features and conventions that assist a developer in reaching their desired goal faster and with less work. Ruby on Rails and Python Django are two good examples.
Spin is a framework for web apps, microservices, and other server-like applications. It provides the interfaces for writing WebAssembly modules that can do things like answer HTTP requests. One unique thing about Spin is that it is a multi-language framework. Rust and Go both have robust support in Spin, but you can also write Python, Ruby, AssemblyScript, Grain, C/C++, and other languages.
We are excited to already be using Spin in production. The Spin docs are (appropriately enough) running on Spin. That website is powered by the Bartholomew CMS system and is running on an HA Nomad cluster.
Spin is a foundational new technology that sets the pace for what we at Fermyon are building.
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