Facebook, GitHub, Google and Twitter have formed the ultimate open source alliance

Coman Hamilton

Silicon Valley has just launched an open source offensive, drawing a line between true advocates and the open source pretenders.

Facebook has announced a new collective of open source advocates in Silicon Valley that will collaborate to improve community development. The collaboration, called TODO, was made public at yesterday’s @Scale developer conference by Facebook’s global head of engineering Jay Parikh.

The initial members of the alliance include Box, Dropbox, GitHub, Google, Khan Academy, Stripe, Square, Twitter and Walmart Labs, who will collectively adress the challenges of open source approaches.

“Talk openly, develop openly”

Facebook’s head of open source James Pearce, who has already been working to expand Facebook’s internal open source approach, explained that the organisation’s goal is to “make open source easier for everyone”.

The group — whose name is a backronym for “talk openly, develop openly” — was formed to address the challenges that companies like ours have encountered in consuming open source software and running open source programs.

The organisation intends to establish a set of open source best practices and a system of knowledge-sharing between tech companies.

We want to run better, more impactful open source programs in our own companies; we want to make it easier for people to consume the technologies we open source; and we want to help create a roadmap for companies that want to create their open source programs but aren’t sure how to proceed.

Opening up Silicon Valley

Facebook has long been supportive in open source, having outsourced several of its projects to developer communities, notably Facebook’s HHVM and Hack language, part of a community-driven effort to improve the efficiency of Facebook’s PHP codebase. Meanwhile the company has also made an effort to open source tools in the mobile department with tools like Xctool and Buck.

Earlier this year, Microsoft officially announced it wanted to climb onto the open source bandwagon. The company has vowed to expand its new GitHub account, as Satya Nadella told employees he wants to “evolve” the company. Oracle meanwhile, has barely budged from its agoraphobic policy, taking a marked interest in protecting its commercial offering, making its recruitment to the TODO movement less than likely.


Facebook icon image via Shutterstock

Coman Hamilton
Coman was Editor of at S&S Media Group. He has a master's degree in cultural studies and has written and edited content for numerous news, tech and culture websites and magazines, as well as several ad agencies.

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