POPL 2024
Sun 14 - Sat 20 January 2024 London, United Kingdom

WebAssembly is a general-purpose low-level virtual machine. It was the first programming language to be introduced to the Web since JavaScript, and has since been adopted in many other environments, such as edge and cloud computing, mobile computing, blockchains, and embedded systems. Unusually for an industrial language, WebAssembly’s normative specification is stated fully in terms of a pen-and-paper formal semantics. In addition, multiple mechanisations of this semantics have been created and used to prove the soundness of the WebAssembly type system.

The rigor of WebAssembly’s semantics presents new opportunities for researchers in Programming Languages to apply their craft to a widely-used industry technology. This WebAssembly Workshop (WAW) intends to create a space where new ideas for such research can be brainstormed, and where ongoing research work related to WebAssembly can be discussed, critiqued, and iterated on. We also hope to familiarize researchers with the successes and challenges of WebAssembly’s design and specification from an industrial point of view, thereby empowering them to influence the future direction of the language.


This workshop will be centered around a small number of invited talks on key themes of WebAssembly research and practice, to be announced shortly, interspersed by broader discussions among the attendees. We also aim to make time for informal lightning talks from any interested attendees. A report summarising the discussions will be prepared and publicly distributed by the organisers shortly after the end of the workshop.