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WebAssembly with SwiftWasm

  1. Setting up the environment

    To install Docker on your local system, refer the official guide.

    If you don’t want to install Docker locally on your system, you can use Docker Playground.

    First, we need to pull the docker image and run it in an interactive mode; we would be accessing the container from its bash. To do the same, run the following command.

    docker run --rm -it ghcr.io/swiftwasm/swift:latest /bin/bash

    But what is Docker? Citing the official documentation,

    Docker is an open platform for developing, shipping, and running applications.
    Docker enables you to separate your applications from your infrastructure
    so you can deliver software quickly.
    With Docker, you can manage your infrastructure in the same ways you manage
    your applications. By taking advantage of Docker’s methodologies for shipping,
    testing, and deploying code quickly, you can significantly reduce the delay
    between writing code and running it in production.

    With that clear, lets understand what's a Docker container. According to the documentation,

    Docker provides the ability to package and run an application in a loosely 
    isolated environment called a container. The isolation and security allows
    you to run many containers simultaneously on a given host. Containers are
    lightweight and contain everything needed to run the application, so you do
    not need to rely on what is currently installed on the host. You can easily
    share containers while you work, and be sure that everyone you share with
    gets the same container that works in the same way.

    Or simply, a Docker container is nothing but a Docker image brought to action. Docker image acts as a set of instructions to build a Docker container and is made of Dockerfile and any necessary dependencies.

    The above line of Docker code pulls the latest Docker image of SwiftWasm from Docker hub, extracts it, and runs the container. The --rm command causes Docker to automatically remove the container when we exit from it. We are using -i and -t together as -it command. -i is short form for --interactive, this keeps the STDIN of the Docker container open. Without --interactive, our container won’t take any input. -t is short form for --tty. This command gives us a pseudo terminal to our container, it connects the STDIN and STDOUT, or input and output of the container to our terminal.

  2. Code

    To write the Fibonacci code, we need to have a text editor in the container. You can use any preferred text editor, be it Vim or Emacs. For this demo, we would be using nano text editor. To install the same, follow the below instructions :

    1. First, we need to run the apt update command in our container.
    2. To install nano text editor using apt, we need to run apt install nano

    With our text editor now installed in the container, lets make a swift file and write the fibonacci code in it.

    To make a new file, we would be using the touch command.

    touch fibonacci.swift

    To open the newly created file in nano text editor, we use this simple command.

    nano fibonacci.swift

    The fibonacci code in Swift is as follows :

    func fibonacci(n: Int) -> Int {
    var a = 0
    var b = 1
    for _ in 0..<n {
    let temp = a
    a = b
    b = temp + b
    }
    return a
    }

    print(fibonacci(n:7))
  3. Compiling the code

    To compile your Swift code to wasm, simply run:

    swiftc -target wasm32-unknown-wasi fibonacci.swift -o fibonacci.wasm

    This would generate a fibonacci.wasm file.

  1. Running .wasm file in Wasmtime

    We would be using Wasmtime as our WebAssembly runtime to run our fibonacci.wasm file. Before we install wasmtime in our container, we would need to install curl command, which is a command-line tool to transfer data to or from a server. To install the curl command, run the following command :

    apt install curl

    With that done, lets install our WebAssembly runtime, Wasmtime with the following command.

    curl https://wasmtime.dev/install.sh -sSf | bash

    We need to open a new terminal to start using Wasmtime, but the same can be achieved simply by the following command.

    exec bash

    To run our fibonacci.wasm , run the following command :

    wasmtime fibonacci.wasm