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Realtime application framework for Node.JS, with HTML5 WebSockets and cross-browser fallbacks support.

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README.md

Socket.IO Server: Sockets for the rest of us

The Socket.IO server provides seamless supports for a variety of transports intended for realtime communication

  • WebSocket
  • WebSocket over Flash (+ XML security policy support)
  • XHR Polling
  • XHR Multipart Streaming
  • Forever Iframe
  • JSONP Polling (for cross domain)

Requirements

How to use

To run the demo:

git clone git://github.com/LearnBoost/Socket.IO-node.git socket.io
cd socket.io/example/
sudo node server.js

and point your browser to http://localhost:8080. In addition to 8080, if the transport flashsocket is enabled, a server will be initialized to listen to requests on the port 843.

Implementing it on your project

Socket.IO is designed not to take over an entire port or Node http.Server instance. This means that if you choose your HTTP server to listen on the port 80, socket.io can intercept requests directed to it and the normal requests will still be served.

By default, the server will intercept requests that contain socket.io in the path / resource part of the URI. You can change this (look at the available options below).

var http = require('http'), 
        io = require('./path/to/socket.io'),

server = http.createServer(function(req, res){
    // your normal server code
    res.writeHeader(200, {'Content-Type': 'text/html'});
    res.writeBody('<h1>Hello world</h1>');
    res.finish();
});

server.listen(80);

// socket.io, I choose you
var socket = io.listen(server);

socket.on('connection', function(client){
  // new client is here!
  client.on('message', function(){ … })
  client.on('disconnect', function(){ … })
});

On the client side:

<script src="/socket.io/socket.io.js"></script>
<script>
    var socket = new io.Socket();
    socket.on('connect', function(){ … })
    socket.on('message', function(){ … })
    socket.on('disconnect', function(){ … })
</script>

The client side files will be served automatically by Socket.IO-node.

Documentation

Listener

io.listen(<http.Server>, [options])

Returns: a Listener instance

Public Properties:

  • server

    The instance of process.http.Server

  • options

    The passed in options combined with the defaults

  • clients

    An object of clients indexed by their session ids.

Methods:

  • addListener(event, λ)

    Adds a listener for the specified event. Optionally, you can pass it as an option to io.listen, prefixed by on. For example: onClientConnect: function(){}

  • removeListener(event, λ)

    Remove a listener from the listener array for the specified event.

  • broadcast(message, [except])

    Broadcasts a message to all clients. There's an optional second argument which is an array of session ids or a single session id to avoid broadcasting to.

Options:

  • resource

    socket.io
    

    The resource is what allows the socket.io server to identify incoming connections by socket.io clients. Make sure they're in sync.

  • transports

    ['websocket', 'server-events', 'flashsocket', 'htmlfile', 'xhr-multipart', 'xhr-polling']
    

    A list of the accepted transports.

  • transportOptions

    An object of options to pass to each transport. For example { websocket: { closeTimeout: 8000 }}

  • log

    ƒ(){ sys.log }
    

    The logging function. Defaults to outputting to stdout through sys.log

Events:

  • clientConnect(client)

    Fired when a client is connected. Receives the Client instance as parameter

  • clientMessage(message, client)

    Fired when a message from a client is received. Receives the message and Client instance as parameter

  • clientDisconnect(client)

    Fired when a client is disconnected. Receives the Client instance as parameter

Important note: this in the event listener refers to the Listener instance.

Client

Client(listener, req, res)

Public Properties:

  • listener

    The Listener instance this client belongs to.

  • connected

    Whether the client is connected

  • connections

    Number of times the client connected

Methods:

  • send(message)

    Sends a message to the client

  • broadcast(message)

    Sends a message to all other clients. Equivalent to Listener::broadcast(message, client.sessionId)

Protocol

One of the design goals is that you should be able to implement whatever protocol you desire without Socket.IO getting in the way. Socket.IO has a minimal, unobtrusive protocol layer. It consists of two parts:

  • Connection handshake

    This is required to simulate a full duplex socket with transports such as XHR Polling or Server-sent Events (which is a "one-way socket"). The basic idea is that the first message received from the server will be a JSON object that contains a session id that will be used for further communication exchanged between the client and the server.

    The concept of session also benefits naturally full-duplex WebSocket, in the event of an accidental disconnection and a quick reconnection. Messages that the server intends to deliver to the client are cached temporarily until the reconnection.

    The implementation of reconnection logic (potentially with retries) is left for the user. By default, transports that are keep-alive or open all the time (like WebSocket) have a timeout of 0 if a disconnection is detected.

  • Message batching

    In order to optimize the resources, messages are buffered. In the event of the server trying to send multiple messages while the client is temporarily disconnected (eg: xhr polling), messages are stacked, then encoded in a lightweight way and sent to the client whenever he becomes available.

Despite this extra layer, your messages are delivered unaltered to the different event listeners. You can JSON.stringify() objects, send XML, or maybe plain text.

Credits

License

(The MIT License)

Copyright (c) 2010 LearnBoost <dev@learnboost.com>

Permission is hereby granted, free of charge, to any person obtaining a copy of this software and associated documentation files (the 'Software'), to deal in the Software without restriction, including without limitation the rights to use, copy, modify, merge, publish, distribute, sublicense, and/or sell copies of the Software, and to permit persons to whom the Software is furnished to do so, subject to the following conditions:

The above copyright notice and this permission notice shall be included in all copies or substantial portions of the Software.

THE SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED 'AS IS', WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND NONINFRINGEMENT. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHORS OR COPYRIGHT HOLDERS BE LIABLE FOR ANY CLAIM, DAMAGES OR OTHER LIABILITY, WHETHER IN AN ACTION OF CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE, ARISING FROM, OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE SOFTWARE OR THE USE OR OTHER DEALINGS IN THE SOFTWARE.

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