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parse

Facebook’s Parse Open-Sources All Of Its SDKs

Posted Aug 13, 2015 by Frederic Lardinois (@fredericl)
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Parse, the backend platform for apps Facebook acquired back in 2013, today announced that it will open source all of its software development kits (SDKs). The Parse SDKs for iOS, Android and OS X are available on GitHub now, and the service’s other SDKs for the likes of Windows Phone, JavaScript, Xamarin and React will follow soon.

For the most part, SDKs are somewhat of a black box for developers. They get to use them to access a service’s features, but they don’t get any real insight into what really happens inside them.

sdk-diagram-2-02As Parse co-founder James Yu tells me, developers have been asking for this for a while. “They want more transparency and know how the SDK interacts with our backend servers,” he said. “Before today, our SDK was a black box to them. They put it into their application and use it at the SDK level. But a lot of them crave transparency and want to see under the hood.”

Yu also noted that the company never set out for its SDKs to be a black box, and once the team decided to open source them, it still took a while to get the code ready for public consumption. “We didn’t just want to throw some code over the wall,” Yu said. Parse, after all, hopes that developers will not just look at the code but also contribute bug fixes and maybe even new features to the SDKs. For that to happen, the code had to be in a state where outsiders would be able to contribute. That meant cleaning up the code, re-architecting some parts and adding comments.

Going forward, Parse will also use GitHub for bug reports.

The Parse team plans to publish a number of blog posts over the next few weeks that detail exactly how the SDK works. The first post, which was published today, goes into the details of how Parse’s asynchronous API works.

This is obviously not the first time the Parse team has open-sourced some of its products (though it is definitely its most ambitious effort in this area). The company’s GitHub repository currently features over 40 projects (though some of them are documents and demo apps), and earlier this month, the company open sourced its command line tool.

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  • Facebook

    • Founded 2004
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    • Overview Facebook is an online social networking service that allows its users to connect with friends and family as well as make new connections. It provides its users with the ability to create a profile, update information, add images, send friend requests, and accept requests from other users. Its features include status update, photo tagging and sharing, and more. Facebook’s profile structure includes …
    • Location New York, New York
    • Categories Communities, Colleges, Identity, All Students, Social Media
    • Founders Mark Zuckerberg
    • Website http://www.facebook.com
    • Full profile for Facebook
  • Parse

    • Founded 2011
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    • Overview Parse is the cloud app platform for Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, iOS, Android, JavaScript, and OS X. With Parse, you can add a scalable and powerful backend in minutes and launch a full-featured mobile or web app in record time without ever worrying about server management. Parse offers push notifications, social integration, data storage, and the ability to add rich custom logic to your app’s backend …
    • Location Menlo Park, California
    • Categories Android, iOS, Cloud Computing, PaaS, Mobile, Enterprise Software
    • Founders Kevin Lacker, Ilya Sukhar, James Yu
    • Website http://parse.com
    • Full profile for Parse

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