Skip to content
Distributed replicated redux store
JavaScript
Branch: master
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Permalink
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.
examples Minor chat example fixes Mar 14, 2017
src Adds options `primusOptions` and `dispatcherOptions` Jan 22, 2017
test signAsync Jan 8, 2017
.babelrc Dependency fixes Oct 13, 2016
.eslintrc.json
.gitignore
.travis.yml 0.3.4 Jan 22, 2017
CHANGELOG.md Adds options `primusOptions` and `dispatcherOptions` Jan 22, 2017
README.md Update README.md Oct 11, 2017
THOUGHTS.md Update README Jan 12, 2017
package.json Adds options `primusOptions` and `dispatcherOptions` Jan 22, 2017
server.md

README.md

redux-scuttlebutt

Self-replicating, self-ordering log of actions shared between peers. Using the power of time travel enabled by redux, your application dispatches and receives actions between its connected peers, creating an eventually consistent shared state.

scuttlebutt

This seems like a silly name, but I assure you, this is real science. — dominictarr/scuttlebutt

Efficient peer to peer reconciliation. We use it as the underlying protocol to share actions among peers, and to eventually agree on their logical order. When we encounter actions with a (one or more actions ago), we rewind and replay history in the correct order.

For more about the protocol, read the Scuttlebutt paper.

use

Add the store enhancer to your existing redux application and connect to a scuttlebutt peer. Peers will gossip and reconciliate any actions (received or dispatched) with all their connected peers. A sample "server" peer is included which could be extended to sync state changes with a database, write a persistent log, or manage system/world/bot actors.

While it works great in a traditional client-server set up, you could flexibly upgrade/downgrade to peer-to-peer connections. The protocol supports going offline for any amount of time, and any changes will sync when you next connect to another scuttlebutt instance.

Note, by default, scuttlebutt itself does not make any guarantees of security or identity: peer Bob is able to lie to Jane about Amy's actions. Security guarantees can added using the signAsync and verifyAsync dispatcher options.

dispatcher

Dispatcher is our Scuttlebutt model. It handles remote syncing of local actions, local dispatching of remote actions, and altering action history (rolling back to past checkpoints and replaying actions) as required.

Redux store enhancer

Our default export is the store enhancer. You use it like this:

// configureStore.js

import { createStore, applyMiddleware } from 'redux'

import rootReducer from '../reducers'
import scuttlebutt from 'redux-scuttlebutt'

export default (initialState) => {
  return createStore(rootReducer, initialState, scuttlebutt({
    uri: 'http://localhost:3000',
  }))
}

It wraps your store's root reducer (to allow us to store history states), getState (to return the latest history state) and dispatch (to dispatch locally and to connected peers).

Actions which flow through redux-scuttlebutt will have their timestamp and source added (as non-enumerable properties) to the action's meta object. These keys are available as the exported constants META_TIMESTAMP and META_SOURCE.

Timestamps are logical (not wall-clock based) and are in the format <logical timestamp>-<source>.

redux-devtools

If you're using the redux dev-tools enhancer, it must come after the redux-scuttlebutt enhancer, otherwise connected scuttlebutt stores will emit devtools actions instead of your application's. For ease of development, we also export devToolsStateSanitizer which allows devtools to expose your application's internal state (instead of scuttlebutt's):

import scuttlebutt, { devToolsStateSanitizer } from 'redux-scuttlebutt'

const enhancer = compose(
  scuttlebutt(),
  window.__REDUX_DEVTOOLS_EXTENSION__
    ? window.__REDUX_DEVTOOLS_EXTENSION__({ stateSanitizer: devToolsStateSanitizer })
    : f => f
)

createStore(counter, undefined, enhancer)

options

The store enhancer takes an options object, including the key dispatcherOptions which is passed directly through to the internal dispatcher:

scuttlebutt({
  // uri of a scuttlebutt peer or server
  uri: `${window.location.protocol}//${window.location.host}`,

  // options for primus.io <https://github.com/primus/primus#getting-started>
  primusOptions: {},

  // the Primus object, can be switched out with any compatible transport.
  primus: (typeof window === 'object' && window.Primus),

  // options passed through to the dispatcher (and their defaults)
  dispatcherOptions: {
    customDispatch: function getDelayedDispatch(dispatcher) {
      return function (action) {
        // the default will batch-reduce actions by the hundred, firing redux's
        // subscribe method on the last one, triggering the actual rendering on
        // the next animationFrame.
        // see: https://github.com/grrowl/redux-scuttlebutt/blob/master/src/dispatcher.js#L22
      }
    },

    isGossipType: function(actionType) {
      // returns a boolean representing whether an action's type should be
      // broadcast to the network.
      // (by default, returns false for actions prefixed with @@, such as @@INIT
      // and internal @@scuttlebutt-prefixed action types)
    },

    verifyAsync: function(callback, action, getStateHistory) {
      // if specified, the verifyAsync function must call callback(false) if the
      // action is invalid, or callback(true) if the action is valid.
      // getStateHistory() will return an array of ordered updates
    },

    signAsync: function(callback, action, getStateHistory) {
      // if specified, the signAsync will be called for every locally dispatched
      // action. must call callback(action) and can mutate the action if
      // desired.
      // getStateHistory() will return an array of ordered updates
    },
  }
})

signAsync & verifyAsync

The dispatcher options signAsync and verifyAsync allows you to add arbitrary metadata to actions as they are dispatched, and filter remote actions which are received from peers. This means you can validate any action against itself or the redux state, other actions in history, a cryptographic signature, rate limit, or any arbitrary rule.

For security, you can use redux-signatures to add Ed25519 signatures to your actions. This could be used to verify authors in a peering or mesh structure.

import { Ed25519, verifyAction, signAction } from 'redux-signatures'

const identity = new Ed25519()

scuttlebutt({
  uri: 'http://localhost:3000',
  signAsync: signAction.bind(this, identity),
  verifyAsync: verifyAction.bind(this, identity),
}))

The getStateHistory third parameter returns an array of the form [UPDATE_ACTION, UPDATE_TIMESTAMP, UPDATE_SOURCE, UPDATE_SNAPSHOT]. These UPDATE_ constants are exported from scuttlebutt.

Note, if your verification is computationally expensive, you are responsible for throttling/delay (like you might for getDelayedDispatch).

conflict-free reducers

While redux-scuttlebutt facilitates action sharing and enhancing the store, it's the responsiblity of the app's reducers to apply actions. Overall your app must be strictly pure, without side effects or non-deterministic mutations.

In a complex real-time multi-user app, this is easier said than done. Some strategies may be,

  • Avoid preconditions. The Game Of Life example only dispatches TOGGLE and STEP. Neither have preconditions, there's no "illegal" way to dispatch them, and they'll always successfully mutate state.
  • Only allow peers (action sources) control over their own domain (entity). An entity might request something of another entity, which that entity would then dispatch its own action to mutate its own domain.
  • Implement a Conflict-free data type, which only allows certain operations in exchange for never conflicting. See: https://github.com/pfrazee/crdt_notes#portfolio-of-basic-crdts
    • We'd love to expose the most useful and common ones from this library to assist with development.

example

Examples are found under examples/.

roadmap and thoughts

  • message validation on top of our existing scuttlebutt library
    • robust crypto in the browser comes with a number of performance and security tradeoffs, which we don't want to bake into the library itself.
    • our recommendation is to implement what's right for your implementation in userland.
    • have released an example of message signing with ed25519 signatures and asyncronous message validation in this gist.
    • released redux-signatures which plugs directly into the dispatcher.
      • Allows flexible implementation, e.g. in a client-server topology you may only want to use sign on the client and verify on the server only. This avoids running the most processor intensive part on the clients with no loss of security.
  • underlying scuttlebutt implementation
    • currently depends on our own scuttlebutt fork, not yet published to npm, I'm not sure if dominictarr wants to accept these changes upstream.
    • should probably republish as scuttlebutt-logical
  • add a @@scuttlebutt/COMPACTION action
    • reducers would receive the whole history array as state
    • enables removing multiple actions from history which are inconsequential — such as multiple "SET_VALUE" actions, when only the last one applies.
    • also enables forgetting, and therefore not replaying to other clients, actions after a certain threshold.
  • implement CRDT helpers for reducers to easily implement complex shared data types.
  • tests
    • simulate a multi-hop distributed network with delay, ensure consistency
    • ensure rewind/reordering works
    • ensure API
  • allow pluggable socket library/transport
  • more example applications! something real-time, event driven.
  • WebRTC support
    • Genericize server into websockets and webrtc versions
    • Write client modules to support either

contributions

Contributions very welcomed. This project is still in its very early, experimental stages.

A major aim of this project is to be able to drop this middleware into an existing, compatible project and have it "just work". Additional features should be configurable in redux-scuttlebutt itself or at the highest level of the application without heavy modification with the redux application's structure/actions/reducers

licence

MIT. Without open source projects like React, Redux, Scuttlebutt, and all the amazing technology which has been the bedrock and inspiration for this project, many wonderful things in this world wouldn't exist.

You can’t perform that action at this time.