Mosquitto and Facebook…and OggCamp

Roger Light (@ralight) has just posted on his blog that Facebook are using MQTT for their new messaging system and, specifically, they seem to be using some part of Roger’s Mosquitto project in it.

So why is this a big deal to me?

Last weekend was the third OggCamp conference, OggCamp 11, at the Farnham Maltings in Surrey. Two years ago, at the first OggCamp (a one-day event at the Connaught Hotel in Wolverhampton), we invited Andy Stanford-Clark (@andysc) to be our opening keynote speaker. Andy co-invented the MQTT messaging protocol about 10 years earlier and, while there was a server implementation of MQTT (Really Small Message Broker; RSMB) that you could download for free from IBM’s website, it was proprietary and there was no open source implementation available.

Andy wrote a new presentation, especially for OggCamp, describing the geeky innards of his Twittering house (as seen earlier that year on the BBC). The presentation was a fantastic kickstart to the day and (somewhat predictably for a conference with its foundations firmly in the open source world) Andy was questioned about what bits of his home automation system were built on open source software and open standards. The one significant part of the system that was proprietary was RSMB (the core part that enabled all the parts of his house to communicate).

Then OggCamp started, we had a good time, and we went home exhausted but happy.

And then, just two weeks later, Roger announced that he’d registered a new project called Mosquitto (as in MosQuiTTo) on Launchpad. He’d been inspired by Andy’s talk at OggCamp to write an open source alternative to RSMB. Within what seemed like days he had a working bit of code which was taken up and tested by others in the open source community and hardware-hacking communities like Homecamp.

I cannot claim any credit at all for all the hard work that Roger and others put in developing and testing Mosquitto. I’ve always been proud, though, that Mosquitto was born at OggCamp – we played our small part in helping connect the previously mostly corporate/business MQTT with the open source communities.

That Facebook announced they were adopting MQTT for their new messaging system the day before OggCamp 11 meant we could vicariously revel in Roger’s glory while we tried to find out just whether Facebook had adopted his code or their own implementation. The answer seems to be somewhere between the two.

And while I’m proud for OggCamp (of course), I’m also excited for Roger in his own right that his name is now in the licence agreement of apps from the mighty Facebook – that kind of recognition for your hard work must be such an amazing feeling!

2 thoughts on “Mosquitto and Facebook…and OggCamp

  1. This is just awesome – I feel so proud of all the people who’ve been involved with MQTT over the past ten years – inside IBM and outside – and am really excited that at last MQTT is hitting the (really) Big Time!

    If you’d like to watch a video that charts the history of MQTT, it’s here:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZiOn2fGeGdM
    (admittedly it talks about other stuff I’ve done too, but all of it is based on MQTT as the underlying messaging system!)

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