Facebook senior open-programs manager David Recordon announced on the social-networking site’s Facebook Developers blog that Tornado, which he described as “a relatively simple, non-blocking Web-server framework written in Python, designed to handle thousands of simultaneous connections, making it ideal for real-time Web services,” will be open-sourced.
Facebook acquired Tornado along with its purchase of FriendFeed. Recordon pointed out that FriendFeed built its site around supporting real-time updates, which Facebook is aiming to do, as well.
Tornado is a core piece of infrastructure that powers FriendFeed’s real-time functionality, which we plan to actively maintain. While Tornado is similar to existing Web-frameworks in Python (Django, Google’s webapp, web.py), it focuses on speed and handling large amounts of simultaneous traffic.