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Chris Dickinson

Understanding Wasm: How We Got Here

Chris Dickinson - Dylibso

Let’s put Wasm and the problems it solves into historical context: what are we trying to solve, and for whom? What has been tried before? What makes this effort more likely to succeed? We’ll examine the history of virtual machines, operating systems, & hypervisors from the 1960s through the 2010s.

Have you ever wondered why it is we can run Windows in a “virtual machine” while we run Java’s “Virtual Machine”? Have you ever struggled to explain concisely what Wasm is, what problem it solves, and what makes it different from previous attempts to solve the problem?

This talk will give you the context you need.

We’ll trace the history of virtualization from the early days of computing in the 60’s through to present day, talk about the trends that shaped the computing world, and point to the problems Wasm aims to solve for the industry at large.

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