ELI5: Folly – Battle-Examined C++ Library

In this blog post, we examine a popular open source project called Folly, a C ++ library that contains core components that are widely used on Facebook. We treat this open source project using the ELI5 style of explaining things in simple terms in no time.

If you’d rather learn by watching, we also have an accompanying video about Folly on our Facebook open source YouTube channel.

Why folly?

Using here at Facebook, we contribute and publish a number of open source projects. Unfortunately, with regards to C ++, we were unable to release any of our code to the community because we had several internal, unpublished dependencies. Folly was developed to fill this gap and to share our open source in C ++ with the world.

Folly (abbreviated shortly after Facebook Open Source Library) is a library of C ++ 14 components designed with practicality and efficiency in mind, including drop-in-optimized replacements for parts of the C ++ STL.

At Folly, we value speed and stability. Since Facebook relies heavily on utilities in Folly, the performance and size of this library were paramount. It has functions such as in-memory JSON manipulation or string formatting.

Despite the different number of components, Folly strives to make their use easy and safe. The project is based on modern C ++ and offers numerous tools such as string utilities that run fewer CPU cycles and make the code more precise.

Where is it used?

Folly was made available as an open source version by Facebook in 2012. Since its inception, the project has been widespread worldwide, with 16,000 followers and nearly 4,000 forks on its GitHub page.

Where can i learn more?

Want to learn more about Folly? The project has in-depth documentation on its GitHub repository, and the Folly team made great reviews like the announcement of Folly Futures. If you have a question to ask the Folly community, we invite you to join their Google group.

About the ELI5 series

In a series of short videos (around 1 minute long) one of our developer attorneys on the Facebook Open Source team explains a Facebook Open Source project in a way that is easy to understand and use.

For each of these videos we are writing an accompanying blog post (like the one you are reading right now) that you can find on our YouTube channel.

To learn more about Facebook Open Source, visit our Open Source website, subscribe to our YouTube channel, or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Would you like to work with open source on Facebook? Check out our open source related job postings on our careers page by taking this short survey.

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