This is the first article of the series where we will be publishing about top open source projects made by big blue chips like Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Google, Netflix etc. We want our readers to be aware of the technologies and projects that help these giants to make continuous improvement irrespective of scale, security and other major challenges which these companies face everyday.
I am starting with Facebook as I am always impressed with all the project they have open sourced till date and how other companies including SPR_Tech uses some of these technologies. Facebook uses, maintains, and contributes to a significant number of major projects- in areas as diverse as native mobile tools, big data systems, client-side web libraries, backend runtimes and infrastructure, and through the Open Compute Project, server and storage hardware. Facebook’s GitHub account alone, now has more than 90 repos comprising over 40,000 commits and that have collectively been forked 15,000 times.
Facebook contribution to open source could be largely categorized into Mobile, Web, Back-end and infrastructure. Top open source projects made in these categories are:
Buck is a high performance build system for Android that encourages creation of small, reusable modules consisting of code and resources. Because Android applications are predominantly written in Java, Buck also functions as a Java build system.
Rebound is a Java library that models spring dynamics. Rebound spring models can be used to create animations that feel natural by introducing real world physics to your application. Rebound uses the same spring constants asOrigami making it easy to convert Origami interaction mockups directly into your Android application.
Origami is a tool for designing modern user interfaces. Quickly put together a prototype, run it on your iPhone or iPad, iterate on it, and export code snippets your engineers can use.
Stetho is an all new debugging platform for Android. It enables the powerful Chrome Developer Tools which is implemented using a client/server protocol which the Stetho software provides for your application. Once your application is integrated, simply navigate to chrome://inspect and click “Inspect” to get started!
FacebookInfer is a static analysis tool to detect bugs in Android and iOS apps before they ship. If you give Infer some Objective-C, Java, or C code, it produces a list of potential bugs. Anyone can use Infer to intercept critical bugs before they have shipped to people’s phones, and help prevent crashes or poor performance. Infer targets critical bugs such as null pointer exceptions, resource leaks and memory leaks.
HHVM (Hip Hop VM) is an open-source virtual machine designed for executing programs written in Hack and PHP. HHVM uses a just-in-time (JIT) compilation approach to achieve superior performance while maintaining the development flexibility that PHP provides. It has realized more than a 5x increase in throughput for Facebook compared with Zend PHP 5.2. HipHop is most commonly run as a standalone server, replacing both Apache and modphp, but it can also run standalone scripts from the command line.
Flux is the application architecture that Facebook uses for building client-side web applications. It complements React’s composable view components by utilizing a unidirectional data flow. It’s more of a pattern rather than a formal framework, and you can start using Flux immediately without a lot of new code.
fb-flo is a Chrome extension that lets you modify running apps without reloading. It’s easy to integrate with your build system, dev environment, and can be used with your favorite editor.
Nuclide is a suite of packages for Nuclide to provide IDE-like functionality for a variety of programming languages and technologies. It is designed to provide a unified developer experience for engineers throughout the company — whether they work on native iOS apps, on React and React Native code, or on Hack to run on our HHVM web servers.
Presto is an open source distributed SQL query engine for running interactive analytic queries against data sources of all sizes ranging from gigabytes to petabytes. Facebook uses Presto for interactive queries against several internal data stores, including their 300PB data warehouse. Over 1,000 Facebook employees use Presto daily to run more than 30,000 queries that in total scan over a petabyte each per day.
Osquery gives you a SQL interface to try out new queries and explore your operating system. With the power of a complete SQL language and dozens of useful tables built-in, osquery is an invaluable tool when performing incident response, diagnosing system operations problem, or troubleshooting a performance issue. Deploy a security tool that also enables developers and administrators.
RocksDBbuilds on LevelDB to be scalable to run on servers with many CPU cores, to efficiently use fast storage, to support IO-bound, in-memory and write-once workloads, and to be flexible to allow for innovation.
Not only software, but Facebook has also built various custom hardware competent to meet its ever increasing scale under Open Compute Project. Unlike Google and Microsoft, Facebook not only contributes its research work but also the end implementation. Let us know in comments your views towards Facebook’s open source contribution.
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