Facebook eats its own open source dogfood

Facebook made several headlines over the Jubilee holiday weekend by “announcing” (on a developer blog) that it had released to open source a collection of C++ library artifacts known as Folly.

These software components were apparently developed in house and have used extensively on an internal basis by “many hundreds” of Facebook software engineers.

The company is then openly “dogfooding” on these tools, which it says are potentially so compelling that C++ developers might find parts of this library interesting in their own right.

Facebook’s Jordan DeLong has said that Facebook is built on open source from top to bottom and could not exist without it.

“The utilities contained in Folly are things we use heavily in production — this is code that runs on thousands of servers doing work on behalf of 900-million users every day,” wrote DeLong.

“These utilities are loosely connected, but the over-arching theme for all of the components is high performance at scale. Some of them will show a fairly specialized focus, like reducing contention or packing things into small amounts of memory. Others, such as our in-memory JSON manipulation library or our string-formatting library, have a larger scope. But in either case, our motivation was to build components that were faster and more efficient than what we previously used.”

Facebook has made the code for Folly available on the GitHub open source code repository here https://github.com/facebook/folly/blob/master/folly/docs/Overview.md and at the time of writing 935 people “LIKE” this news.