WebAssembly on the Server, npm & genomics tools @ Cloudflare

February 20, 2019
San Francisco, US

This month, we’ve sponsored WebAssembly SF meetup group. We have three talks from Zack Bloom of Cloudflare, Laurie Voss of npm, and Robert Aboukhalil of Invitae!

The Meetup will be recorded and videos will be shared after the event.


6:00pm - Doors open

6:30-7:15pm - WebAssembly on the Server, Zack Bloom

7:30-8:15pm - npm and WASM: how can we help?, Laurie Voss

8:30-9:00pm - Speeding up genomics data analysis tools, Robert Aboukhalil

About the talks:

WebAssembly on the Server

We hear of WASM as a tool for unlocking new languages and performance inside web browsers. It turns out that the tremendous work and investment in the WASM platform has a surprising benefit: the ability to run server-side code in a more lightweight, secure, and collaborative way on servers too! We will talk about how we’re seeing people run WASM to replace traditional virtual machines, containers, and processes, and what it unlocks for them.

npm and WASM: how can we help?

npm’s ethos since it began has been to observe what developers are doing and make those workflows as easy and frictionless as possible. Our latest developer survey shows enormous interest in WASM, so we’re preparing to welcome a flood of new WASM devs to the npm community. I’ll give you some early stats on WASM adoption and talk about npm’s plans to support WASM, including an experimental new version of npm.

fastq.bio, an interactive genomics web tool

This talk explores how to speed up data analysis web tools using WebAssembly. As a concrete example, we’ll consider the application fastq.bio, an interactive genomics web tool we had previously developed in JavaScript. By compiling an existing genomics command-line tool from C to WebAssembly and optimizing the original C code, we obtain >10X speedup compared to our original JavaScript implementation! We’ll also cover how we used WebWorkers to launch the WebAssembly analysis in a separate thread to improve the app’s responsiveness.

About the speakers:

Zack Bloom helps build the future of the Internet as the Director of Product for Product Strategy at Cloudflare. He was a co-founder of Eager, an app platform for non-technical website owners, which was acquired by Cloudflare in 2016. He is also the creator of open-source projects which total over fifty-thousand stars on Github.

Laurie Voss has been a web developer for 23 years and is passionate about making the web better and web development more accessible to everybody. He is co-founder and Chief Data Officer at npm, Inc., provider of package management and security services to the JavaScript developers of the world.

Robert Aboukhalil is a Bioinformatics Software Engineer at Invitae, which means he spends his time… engineering software for bioinformatics purposes. Specifically, he develops cloud applications to enable the interactive analysis and exploration of genomics data. Robert has a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics from CSHL and a Bachelor in Computer Engineering from McGill.