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About the Bytecode Alliance

The Bytecode Alliance is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating secure new software foundations, building on standards such as WebAssembly and WebAssembly System Interface (WASI).

The Bytecode Alliance is committed to establishing a capable, secure platform that allows application developers and service providers to confidently run untrusted code, on any infrastructure, for any operating system or device, leveraging decades of experience doing so inside web browsers.

We have a vision for a secure-by-default WebAssembly ecosystem for all platforms.

Become a member

The Bytecode Alliance welcomes contributions and participation from across the industry. Join as a member and help drive the future of computing.

Members

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FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the Bytecode Alliance?

    The Bytecode Alliance is a nonprofit organization working to provide state-of-the-art foundations for the development of runtime environments and language toolchains where security, efficiency, and modularity can all coexist across a wide range of devices and architectures. We enable innovation in compilers, runtimes, and tooling, focusing on fine-grained sandboxing, capabilities-based security, modularity, and standards such as WebAssembly and WASI.

  • Why is this an important focus right now?

    Developers are running untrusted code in many new places, from the cloud to IoT devices. But this opens up many security concerns, and also portability challenges when you try to run the same code across these different systems. We don’t yet have a solid foundation to build upon.

    With WebAssembly and emerging related standards such as WASI, WebAssembly Interface Types, and Module Linking, this solid foundation is taking shape. By building this foundation, we can address some persistent fundamental issues of today’s software development practices.

  • Why does this require a cross-industry effort?

    The problem we are attempting to solve is fundamentally a cross-industry problem. We want to allow for safe interaction and code reuse across server, edge, browser, mobile, and more platforms. These different platforms are developed by different groups across the industry. Our intent is to bring them together to solve problems for everyone.

  • How does this relate to standardization bodies like the W3C’s WebAssembly CG?

    The Bytecode Alliance is focused on creating a shared implementation of standards produced by the WebAssembly CG and other standardization bodies.

    We believe that standards are best informed by implementation. To enable this, we bring together a wide range of different use cases. Many of our contributors are also active in standardization and use this implementation experience and feedback to inform their work.

  • What projects are already a part of this?

    Wasmtime

    Wasmtime is a WebAssembly runtime. It runs WebAssembly outside of the browser, in a fast, portable, secure, and scalable way.

    Wasmtime serves as the base layer for other hosts. For example, Fastly is refactoring the Lucet runtime on top of Wasmtime, and Red Hat is building a WebAssembly runtime based on Wasmtime for the Enarx project (part of the Confidential Computing Consortium).

    Cranelift

    Cranelift is a highly optimized code generator, focused on fast compilation. It’s used in Wasmtime for both JIT and AOT compilation, and is currently being integrated into Firefox as the optimizing compiler for WebAssembly. It’s also used as an experimental backend for the Rust compiler.

    Lucet

    Lucet is an AOT compiler utilizing Cranelift. It is meant specifically for low-latency, high-concurrency server-based applications of WebAssembly.

    WebAssembly Micro-Runtime (WAMR)

    WAMR is an interpreter based WebAssembly runtime, optimized for embedded and resource-constrained devices.

    Enarx (affiliated)

    Enarx is an application deployment system enabling applications to run within Trusted Execution Environments (TEEs) in a platform independent way. It's a project of the Confidential Computing Consortium that is based on Wasmtime and closely affiliated with the Bytecode Alliance.

  • How are these projects licensed?

    The main projects are licensed under the Apache 2.0 license + LLVM exception (which ensures GPL compatibility). Some supporting projects are licensed under Apache 2.0/MIT dual license.

  • How do individuals get involved?

    Developers are encouraged to participate in any open source project in the Bytecode Alliance. Each project is governed by its own committer group. Developers who are very active in shaping a project are eligible for nomination to the project’s committer group.

    Developers can also join in by integrating the Bytecode Alliance’s projects into their projects and products, and providing feedback based on their use cases.

    We're also working on introducing a Technical Steering Committee (TSC) as the top-level body of governance for projects, which is open for participation by all project contributors, and will also choose members for the Bytecode Alliance's highest governance body, the Board of Directors.

    Individuals are invited to engage in Bytecode Alliance projects during the current bootstrapping period to participate in elections to the TSC. We'll publish details on the timing for the bootstrapping process as well as eligibility requirements for TSC participation soon.

  • How do organizations join the Alliance?

    Organizations can join the Bytecode Alliance as members, and are encouraged to participate in the Alliance’s open source projects, and to use them in their own projects and products.

    We're currently working on bootstrapping full governance for the Bytecode Alliance, at the end of which we'll instate a Technical Steering Committee (TSC) as the top-level body of project governance, and hold elections to both the TSC and to the Board of Directors. Organizations are invited to join during the bootstrapping period to take part in the Board elections. We'll publish details on the timing for the bootstrapping process soon.

  • How is the Alliance governed?

    The Bytecode Alliance follows an open governance model with a Board of Directors as the top-level body of governance, with seats elected by member organizations, and a Technical Steering Committee (TSC), elected from established project contributors. Our bylaws define the details of top-level governance, and a detailed charter and procedures for the TSC will be developed as part of a bootstrapping period. We'll publish details on the timing for this process soon.