Facebook and open source: 'we've come a long way'
With over 500 million users, Facebook is by far the world's biggest social networking site - and has also been making important contributions to the open source community.
David Recordon, the site's head of open source, talks us through the company's approach to free software.
LXF: What's your background in open source?
David Recordon: I really got started working with open source when I was a teenager. I was using YaBB SE (PHP forum software), and started helping others within the community.
At the time, I knew C++ and a bit of Perl, but really hadn't done much web programming. PHP was easy to pick up and I loved the immediacy of being able to just hit save and then refresh my browser. Over the next few years, I got more deeply involved in the project, helped launch the rewrite as Simple Machines Forum, and built a forum-hosting business with my friend Joshua Dickerson.
I guess this was really my first experience of being deeply involved in an open source project.