Fast, lightweight library for encoding and decoding JSON messages over streams.
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README.md

missive

Build Status

Fast, lightweight library for encoding and decoding JSON messages over streams.

Built using fringe

Installing

npm install --save missive

How it works

Rather than simply using newlines to delimit messages, missive uses the time-honored tradition of length prefixing. We think this is safer, and it can also be quite a bit faster.

Examples

Piping data

missive exports just two functions, encode() and parse(). Each returns an instance of Stream.Transform.

Both streams pipe Buffer instances on the way out (like pretty much all streams), but encode expects an object to be passed to write.

let missive = require('missive');
// create an encoder stream
let encode = missive.encode();
// create a parser stream
let parse = missive.parse();

encode.pipe( parse ).pipe( process.stdout );

encode.write({ hello: 'world' }); // should log {"hello": "world"}
data events

Both streams implement standard data events, which emit Buffer instances.

let missive = require('missive');
let encode = missive.encode();
let parse = missive.parse();

parse.on( 'data', buffer => {
  console.log( buffer instanceof Buffer ); // true
});

encode.write({ foo: 'bar' });
message event

The parse stream also implements a custom message event for convenience. Rather than emitting a Buffer instance, the message event emits a parsed JavaScript object.

let missive = require('missive');
let encode = missive.encode();
let parse = missive.parse();

parse.on( 'message', obj => {
  console.log( obj.foo ); // 'bar'
});

encode.write({ foo: 'bar' });
Writing to sockets
let net = require('net');
let missive = require('missive');
let server = net.createServer();

server.listen( 1337 );

server.on( 'connection', socket => {
  let encode = missive.encode();
  encode.pipe( socket );
  encode.write({ hello: 'world' });
});
Reading from sockets
let net = require('net');
let missive = require('missive');
let client = net.createConnection({ port: 1337 });

client.pipe( missive.parse() ).on( 'message', obj => {
  console.log( obj ); // { hello: 'world' }
});
Compression

To enable Node's zlib compression, instantiate an encode stream with { deflate: true } and a parse stream with { inflate: true }

Note that this will incur a fairly substantial performance penalty, so compression is only advised in situations where message volume is low and saving bytes over the wire is critical.

let missive = require('missive');
let encode = missive.encode({ deflate: true });
let parse = missive.parse({ inflate: true });

parse.on( 'message', obj => {
  console.log( obj.foo ); // 'bar'
});

encode.write({ foo: 'bar' });

Spec

In case you can't use missive on one side of a socket, this is how it encodes data:

  1. Let data be the result of JSON.stringify( object ) + '\n'.
  2. Let header be the string 'JSON' as a utf-8 string.
  3. Let byteLength be the byte length of data as utf-8.
  4. Let buffer be a new buffer of length byteLength + 8.
  5. Write header at byte offset 0 of buffer as a UInt32LE.
  6. Write byteLength at byte offset 4 of buffer as a UInt32LE.
  7. Write data at byte offset 8 of buffer as a utf-8 string.