Facebook has long been supportive of open source development, and over the years it has opened up some of its projects to the public, encouraging the community to utilize and build on them.
Today, at the engineering conference @Scale, Facebook announced that it’s partnering with a group of large tech companies to launch TODO (“talk openly, develop openly”) as a way to help address some of the challenges of open source collaboration.
Facebook’s James Pearce writes in a blog post:
We’ll have more to share about our plans in the coming weeks, but our overall goal in this collaboration is to make open source easier for everyone. 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.
Facebook is joining Box, Dropbox, GitHub, Google, Khan Academy, Stripe, Square, Twitter, and Walmart Labs in this project. TODO’s website makes it clear that the companies are not forming a foundation or lobby group, but rather a group of companies that will work on programs, projects, initiatives, and so on together.
Facebook and these partners have been strong open source advocates in the past. Twitter and GitHub are members of the Linux Foundation, Stripe holds “open source retreats” at which it hosts developers for three months while they work on open source projects, while the rest of the partner companies all maintain open source projects they make available to the web development community.
Although the TODO group is not saying much about its future plans, more news is to come in the next several weeks.