Thomas Wirtgen

Based in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium




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About the author

Thomas Wirtgen received his PhD's degree in Computer Science at UCLouvain, Belgium in 2023. His thesis focused on the modernization of routing protocols under the supervision of Professor Olivier Bonaventure. His research interests include distributed routing protocols, programmable networks, and system and network architecture.

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• Reply to Stéphane Bortzmeyer on The Need for Programmability in Routing Protocols by Thomas Wirtgen

“Developping something new (no installed base) and mission-critical in C, today, is a bit strange. Why not using a safer language?”

The eBPF virtual machine we are using in this prototype only supports eBPF bytecode compiled from C source code. But I agree that other alternatives such as a WebAssembly VM or LUA would be a more viable and easier solution for production-ready implementations. WebAssembly is becoming more mature and allows extensions to be written in Rust code, which is much better than C in terms of memory safety and language abstraction. There are also are many interesting libraries such as WASIX, which supports many features that would simplify the process of developing new plugins/extensions.

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