Facebook Launches Ambitious TODO Project to Improve Open Source

by Ostatic Staff - Sep. 16, 2014

Facebook's TODO project—which stands for Talk Openly, Develop Openly--is grabbing headlines this week as an effort to improve the way open source software is built and used. Over the years, Facebook has open sourced a number of its own tools, including Haxl, a library that eases access to remote data.

With TODO, though, Facebook is attempting to raise the quality standards of open source projects in general.

As PC World notes, the TODO project includes input from a number of collaborating companies:

"The TODO project aims to make it easier for a company or organization to get started with using an open source package, and also make it easier to kick off new open source development projects."

"The group consists mainly of the biggest online service providers, including Facebook, Twitter, Google and Box. It also includes Walmart Labs, Dropbox, Khan Academy, Stripe, Square and the open source software repository GitHub and others."

According to the TOD project site:

 "Open source is part of the fabric of each of our companies. Between us, our open source programs enable us to use, contribute to, and maintain, thousands of projects - both large and small. These programs face many challenges, including ensuring high-quality and frequent releases, engaging with developer communities, and using and contributing back to other projects effectively."

"The members of this group are committed to working together in order to overcome these challenges. We will be sharing experiences, developing best practices, and working on common tooling. But we can’t do this alone. If you are a company using or sharing open source, we welcome you to join us and help make this happen. We believe we can better improve our open source programs - and our contributions to the open source movement as a whole - by working together."

“TODO is a new open source collaboration formed to address the challenges that companies have encountered in consuming open source software and running open source programs,” Facebook said in a statement.

The company also announced that it will open-source mcrouter, a memcached protocol router used at Facebook to handle all traffic between caching servers. More about the tool can be found in a post here.