Facebook contributes to the Ent project at the Linux Foundation

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In 2019, Facebook opened Ent, an entity framework for the Go programming language designed to make it easy to build apps with large data models. After about two years of development, Ent will come under the governance of the Linux Foundation, it was announced today, with the goal of nurturing the community of businesses that use it.

“This extra step allowing open source contributors to directly take ownership of the technical vision of a project is part of our long-standing commitment to open and sustainable innovation,” Facebook project manager Michael Cheng said in a statement. “Allowing project leaders to chart their course often sparks additional investments, contributions and new companies that create products and platforms based on that project… We see that Ent is already following a similar pattern, and we will be cheering on the Ent community as it enters this exciting next stage of growth.

A growing project

The Ent project was inspired by an entity framework that Facebook used – and continues to use – internally. Created by the Facebook Connectivity team, Ent aims to ease the burden of maintaining a code base used to manage hundreds of different entity types with complex relationships. Ent uses the concepts of graphs to model the schema of an application and code generation techniques to create code that simplifies working with databases, mapping between objects (for example, a user account) in applications and the tables and columns of a relational database. (In the context of application development, a schema uses keywords to define data properties such as descriptions and data types.)

Back when Ent was open source, engineers from Facebook, GitHub, Scaleway, and others contributed to it. The framework has also been used by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation and other open source ecosystems, including the recently launched Data Fabric solutions provider Ariga.

“From the start it was evident that Ent would present a unique and compelling value proposition for a wide range of use cases in any industry with complex technology stacks,” wrote the creator and maintainer. of Ent, Ariel Mashraki, in a blog post. “The promise of working with a large coalition of users was the main reason we opened Ent. “

Ent is just the latest tool created by Facebook and contributed to the Linux Foundation. Others include Magma, a platform for building wireless networks; GraphQL, a query language for APIs; Presto, an open source distributed SQL query engine; and ONNX, an open format designed to represent machine learning models. Last August, Facebook joined the Linux Foundation as a platinum member, and the company’s developers regularly contribute projects including the React JavaScript library, the Open Compute project, and Linux’s cGroup2 container software.


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