Facebook Open Sources FriendFeed Web Server

By: Chris Crum - September 10, 2009

About a month ago, Facebook announced that it was acquiring FriendFeed. Today the company announced it is open sourcing Tornado, a web server framework originally developed by the FriendFeed team.

Tornado Tornado is designed to handle thousands of connections at the same time. "As real-time updates continue to be an important feature of the social Web, developers can now leverage this powerful tool to more easily build and scale their real-time environments," a spokesperson for Facebook tells WebProNews.

Back in March, Facebook introduced its real-time news feed, a concept that FriendFeed was also built upon. Facebook says that it hasn’t been easy to build and scale such features, so they decided to open source Tornado.

"Tornado is a core piece of infrastructure that powers FriendFeed’s real-time functionality, which we plan to actively maintain," explains Facebook’s David Recordon. "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."

Web Server Requests/Sec

In addition, Tornado provides support for templates, cookie handling and user authentication, security, localization, and static file serving.

The Tornado documentation can be found here. It provides a complete list of features and modules. Source code is here, and the technology behind it can be learned about at this post from Facebook Director of Products, Bret Taylor.

Chris Crum

About the Author

Chris CrumChris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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