Over the past few weeks I have spoken with a few people that are telling me whispers about Facebook potentially open sourcing their iPhone application. Then I read a post on Joe Hewitt’s blog about his experience with developing the Facebook iPhone application. It’s a great post that I highly recommend checking out. One thing that Joe touches on the issues presented by the iPhone SDK agreement. And due to that agreement Joe can’t release the whole framework.
Just yesterday Facebook announced that they have open sourced another application called Scribe. According to Facebook, “Scribe is a server for aggregating log data streamed in real time from a large number of servers. It is designed to be scalable, extensible without client-side modification, and robust to failure of the network or any specific machine. Scribe was developed at Facebook and released as open source.”
Ultimately the tool is useful for organizations that need scalability for rapidly growing networks. Regardless of the purpose of their tool, the main point on mentioning this service is that Facebook continues to make significant contributions to the open source community. One of the contributions that it appears they’d like to make is their iPhone application.
This would be extremely useful for those developers building iPhone applications as well as those developers looking to integrate Facebook features into their iPhone apps in the future. Unfortunately Apple’s restrictive policies are preventing Facebook from sharing most of their code. Hopefully this changes in the future but for now Joe Hewitt suggests that he will try to extract other components of the iPhone application for developers to check out.