Tornado: Facebook Releases Python Framework as Open Source

Sep 11, 2009

The Facebook social networking site has made Tornado, its Python framework for web apps, available under Apache License 2.0.

According to Facebook, Tornado is behind its inhouse FriendFeed offering, which provides real-time postings. The software is relatively simple, but scales well and can handle thousands of concurrent transactions without interruption, as Facebook Open Programs manager David Recordon writes in his blog. Recordon compares Tornado with Web.py, CherryPy and Django.

Tornado runs under Python 2.5 and 2.6 and uses the Pycurl module and a JSON library. The source code tarball for Tornado 1.0 is available for download off the project page. Technical details and code samples are on FriendFeed chief Bret Taylor's blog. Tornado has its own documentation page. The Python framework is just one in a series of open source software Facebook uses.

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