It’s been a while since this thread was active, and WASM is coming along nicely, if not quickly. Here are a few neat developments (picked to sample recent progress, rather than totality of progress): First, just-in-time code generation within webassembly which uses a JIT strategy that would fit right in on a Mill, and then Postgres compiled to WASM running in browser which is surprising.
Ivan’s analysis seems spot on that the general WASM execution model maps fairly nicely to the Mill. I don’t think it’s too far to say that WASM’s principles align reasonably well with the Mill in general, and notably better than existing architectures. Don’t be fooled by the presence of the word “web” in its name, it’s design is closer to an intermediate representation for architecture-agnostic machine code than something that needs a heavyweight VM runtime like JS/JVM/.NET.
I suspect that WASM would be a great ‘IR’ to quickly port existing programs to work on the Mill without requiring (further) architecture retargeting. Once a WASM interpreter/compiler is built for the Mill — probably a more tractable task than adding the Mill as a new backend architecture in an existing compiler — many hundreds of existing WASM programs will start working right away. This could be a boon to get your hands on a wide array of nontrivial programs for testing and development, and as a fast path to write custom applications for the Mill.