Forum Replies Created
- elimisteveParticipantNovember 25, 2020 at 4:01 pmPost count: 4
For those of you who care a lot about security (and are perhaps most interested in the Mill for security) but who still have the impression that WebAssembly is some in-browser-only toy and haven’t read about WASI and the efficient sandboxing capabilities — which sandbox libraries in your program *from each other*(!) thanks to the new nanoprocess model — I highly recommend reading https://hacks.mozilla.org/2019/03/standardizing-wasi-a-webassembly-system-interface/ and their big update just recently: https://bytecodealliance.org/articles/1-year-update .
To help app developers build more stable apps [by making their backends scale better], Shopify wants to allow app code to run internally right within Shopify.
But how can you run this third-party code in a fast and safe way? By using WebAssembly.
With their new platform, built on top of Lucet [a WASM compiler, not interpreter], they’ve been able to run a flash sale with 120,000 WebAssembly modules spinning up and executing in a 60 second flash sale window, while maintaining a runtime performance of under 10 ms per module.
Yes, that’s WebAssembly running _on the server_, in production, at scale, and solving a very real security problem.
- elimisteveParticipantNovember 25, 2020 at 3:24 pmPost count: 4
You miss my point entirely, and your conception of what it means to compete against a technology is too narrow.
A key advantage of the Mill is supposed to be security. But the efficient sandboxing that WebAssembly provides means that the world now has a way to make C and C++ much safer without needing the hardware to zero out memory, among other things. This substantially decreases the appeal of buying Mill hardware for many of us, since we can make a cheap software change rather than an expensive hardware change.
I was hoping to receive a compelling argument for why the Mill would still be compelling.
Data centers care more about energy efficiency, but if their customers can’t get easily their software to run on the Mill then it doesn’t matter.
The hardware world is moving quickly. I hope you all can release soon so the world doesn’t pass you by; “WebAssembly is not a hardware ISA” doesn’t matter and will not save you. Only a 5-10x advantage in some meaningful dimension will. Does the Mill have one?
- elimisteveParticipantNovember 19, 2020 at 1:28 pmPost count: 4
I hope that energy efficiency is a sufficiently compelling reason for the world to adopt a new CPU architecture.
Re: the Cerebras I didn’t realize it’s more like a GPU than a CPU. Also, this:
> A single Cerebras CS-1 is 26 inches tall
Not exactly mobile-optimized! …but for supercomputers and mobile devices, energy efficiency is really important, so maybe the Mill can shine there first, although on mobile much of the energy is spent on the screen, so making the CPU a lot more efficient may not help battery life a ton.
And I’ll look into the WASM sandboxing details, thanks.