WebAssembly in Action

Author of the book "WebAssembly in Action"
With examples using C++ and Emscripten
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Monday, March 2, 2020

Presenting a WebAssembly Overview at ConFoo.ca

This was my first time attending a ConFoo.ca Developer conference. I also had the pleasure of being one of the speakers at this year's event so I thought I'd write about my experience.


ConFoo.ca Montreal celebrated its 18th anniversary this year with nearly 840 attendees! The following are some photos that I took while people were still arriving for the first day's keynote:


(click to view the image full size)

The conference brought speakers from around the world who presented 156 talks over three days! I was honored to be included among them by giving a WebAssembly Overview presentation.

I've written a book on WebAssembly so I know the subject matter quite well. I've also given public presentations a number of times at work and at local user groups but those audiences are smaller. This is a big conference and I was given one of the bigger rooms so I was a little nervous.

While I was traveling to the conference, and while I was there, a couple WebAssembly announcements were made about Firefox and Google Earth.

WebAssembly Announcements

The first announcement was from Mozilla. They've been working on porting their C and C++ code to Rust but there's a lot of code in Firefox so this will take time.

What they decided to do is leverage WebAssembly within Firefox itself by using RLBox. They started by sandboxing their font library and plan to sandbox other components in the future. For more details, you can visit the following site: https://www.zdnet.com/article/firefox-for-mac-and-linux-to-get-a-new-security-sandbox-system/

The announcement from Google Earth was that their WebAssembly version has come out of beta for the desktop version of Firefox, Edge, and Opera. More details on this announcement can be found here: https://9to5google.com/2020/02/26/google-earth-firefox-edge/

I updated my presentation with the latest WebAssembly news and spent every spare moment I could find going over my notes and slides. I even skipped lunch on the final day of the conference to give my presentation one more run though.

My turn

It was convenient being the first presenter in the room after lunch because it gave me time to set up my computer and adjust my slides.

The projector was pointing a bit too high and the titles on my slides were being cut off at the top so I had to bump the titles down on every slide. In hindsight, I should have just nudged the projector forward a tiny bit but my nerves got the best of me and I didn't see the simpler option.

There are a few things that I would change with my presentation but, overall, it went well. There were a decent number of attendees and some good questions afterwards.


I had been in contact with members of The Uno Platform for a while now. When I found out that I was going to be a speaker at ConFoo in Montreal, we arranged a meeting to say hello because their head office is in Montreal too.

The Uno Platform meeting


At the end of the first day's sessions, I rushed down the road to The Uno Platform's head office where I had a chance to sit down and chat with their CEO Francois Tanguay and CTO Jerome Laban where we talked about...you guessed it...WebAssembly!

They're very nice guys who are very passionate about C#, XMAL, and WebAssembly. If you want to do cross platform C# and XAML that targets iOS, Android, desktop, and the web, I recommend checking out The Uno Platform.

They're having a conference August 26-27, 2020 in Montreal called UnoConf. I copied the following from their website:

UnoConf is a gathering point for the complete Uno community – engineering team, influencers, code contributors as well as those wishing to learn more about the Platform.

UnoConf 2020 brings a full day conference followed by a full day hands on workshop lead by Uno Platform core team. By August WinUI 3.0 will be in market and you'll get a front seat in learning how to build cross-platform solutions and how to migrate your existing applications with it.

Summary

My visit to Montreal went very quick. It feels like it was just yesterday that I was getting on a plane for Montreal and now I'm writing about my experience on a plane heading home.

I want to send out a special thank you to Manning Publications for providing some free e-books for me to give way as well as a special discount code.

I also want to thank Yann Larrivée for giving me this opportunity to speak. He worked really hard and did an amazing job to put on a very professional conference.

ConFoo brought in speakers from around the world who are indeed world-class. If you can find a way to get to Montreal next February 24-26, 2021, I highly recommend attending this conference.

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