2013: The Year Of Open Source For Facebook Engineering

By David Cohen 

2013Photos6502013 was the year of open source for Facebook Engineering, as the social network was involved in several projects along those lines throughout the year.

Facebook offered a summary of its open-source activity in a post on its engineering blog. The projects are listed below, but much more detail is available in the blog post.


  • Facebook released Android build tool Buck in April, enabling developers to build applications in one-half the time.
  • That same month marked the debut of xctool, which made it easier for engineers to compile and test iOS and Mac projects.
  • Rebound, a physics and animation library for Android, debuted at Facebook’s Mobile@Scale event in October.
  • Wrapping up the year with a bang, Facebook Friday announced the release of Quartz Composer toolkit Origami, which speeds the process of building and prototyping mobile interactions.


  • Facebook launched JavaScript library React at JSConfUS 2013 in May, spawning numerous integrations of React into build tools, server-side environments, and other client libraries.
  • The social network also launched two tools to help improve JavaScript and Web apps in general: Regenerator, a transformer that brings ECMAScript’s yield syntax to browsers; and Huxley, a visual-regression test tool for Web apps, which was built by the Instagram team.


  • New distributed SQL query engine Presto debuted this summer, and it has been adopted by companies including Airbnb and Dropbox.
  • RocksDB, an embedded key-value store library, was open-sourced last month.


  • HipHop Virtual Machine HHVM has received nearly 4,000 commits, and it added FastCGI support and was integrated into Travis CI.
  • The Facebook Engineering team also worked on code-analysis toolbox pfff, eventing framework libPhenom, and C++ library folly, and it contributed to Mercurial, LLVM, and GNU grep.
  • The Open Compute Project continued its rapid progress.

The blog post concluded:

As the famous Facebook maxim goes, our open source program is still only 1 percent finished.

We know there is still a huge amount to work on, across each of the major themes above. We’re very lucky to have strong and enthusiastic communities on our projects, and with that comes great responsibility.

Whether you’re in the mobile, Web, data, or infrastructure communities, we look forward to continuing to working with you all — and we’ll see you in 2014!

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.