Facebook becoming more active for Open Source

Friday, 26 February 2010, 06:12 Hrs   |    1 Comments
Printer Print Email Email
Miami: Future of Web Apps (FOWA) event saw major companies like Facebook participating. But what was surprising to see was that Facebook focused a lot on open source this year. Facebook recently hired David Recordon to be more active at the open source side of the business. Recordon, who spearheaded the launch of the Open Web Foundation, is Facebook's first really prominent open-source guru, and when it comes to Facebook's marketing pitches, the open-source guys have taken a little more coaxing than the iPhone developers or widget-builders, reports Caroline McCarthy of CNET. The open-source community was skeptical towards Facebook for keeping content behind a log-in wall, relying on proprietary technologies rather than open standards, and declining to participate in big open-Web initiatives like the Google-helmed OpenSocial and FriendConnect. Facebook's hire of Recordon, a Six Apart veteran, was therefore both a savvy PR move as well as a key engineering hire. His point in his FOWA talk on Tuesday was to explain some of the open-source initiatives offered or supported by Facebook: mobile development library Three20, PHP source code transformer HipHop, authentication technology OAuth 2.0, publishing protocol PubSubHubbub, and Web server Tornado. "I joined Facebook about six months ago and it's been sort of nonstop since then," Recordon said at the start of his talk. "The first week I got there was a few weeks after the FriendFeed acquisition, and FriendFeed had an amazing piece of technology, a Web server Tornado." Facebook open-sourced Tornado, which powered FriendFeed's real-time streaming technology, and Recordon said that start-ups like Twitter client Brizzly and Q&A site Quora are now using it. "(Open source) is really stable," Recordon said. "You're able to go and build gigantic Web sites. A lot of Facebook's Web site is built on open-source technology." It's been nearly two years since Facebook released much of the code behind its developer platform as open source, and it has joined the OpenID foundation, he said.