Facebook Makes More Open Source Moves, as Does the White House

by Ostatic Staff - Nov. 02, 2016

In recent months, Facebook has been on a tear, open sourcing a slew of new tools. This week, the company is back in the news on the open source front. It has unveiled an open source telecom hardware design that can link data centers using a high-speed optical networking system that can cover large geographical distances.

Meanwhile, the U.S. White House has shared open source code for President Obama’s Facebook Messenger bot to help other governments build their own bots. Here are details.

The White House claims it is sharing the Facebook bot code “with the hope that other governments and developers can build similar services — and foster similar connections with their citizens — with significantly less upfront investment,” says  a post published by U.S. chief digital officer Jason Goldman. As VentureBeat noted:

"In August, the White House launched a Facebook Messenger bot to receive messages from American citizens. The messages are read alongside letters and other communique sent to the president.

The open source Drupal module for the president’s bot is available to download on Github."

 Meanwhile, Facebook announced a network device billed as an optical switch, which it calls Voyager. It is classified as the first "white box" transponder and routing device for Open Packet DWDM optical networks. According to a post:

"Our networking team has previously developed a series of projects aimed at breaking apart the hardware and software components of the data center network stack to open up more flexibility and accelerate innovation, as we previously did with our racks, servers, storage, and motherboards in the data center....Today we announced Voyager, a networking solution for Open Packet DWDM networks — and what we believe is the industry’s first “white box” transponder and routing solution. Facebook will open up the design to the TIP community via the Backhaul: Open Optical Packet Transport project group. We have been working with partners to successfully test in the market and are excited about the ecosystem that has already come together around Voyager as part of TIP."

Notably, Facebook is also giving away the files for a project called OpenCellular. Its goal is to create a new open wireless ecosystem. All things considered, Facebook is making enormous contributions to the open source community. Get more details on recently open sourced tools from Facebook here.