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A realtime web server that doesn't suck
Erlang JavaScript Shell Ruby

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A realtime web server that doesn't suck... or at least won't suck when it's finished.

How it Works

The User's browser loads your page [1], which instantiates a connection to Chloe using JavaScript. It can then send data over that connection [2], which will be relayed to your app via a POST from Chloe [3]. When you have data that you want to send back to the browser, send a POST to Chloe [4], which will relay it back to the connected browser [5].

                           2. Send data over websockets
  |                                                                                             v
+------------------------+  1. /index.html   +----------+  4. POST /send (data for browser)   +-------+
|        Browser         | ----------------> | Your App | ----------------------------------> | Chloe | -+
+------------------------+                   +----------+                                     +-------+  |
  ^                                            ^          3. Data from the browser              |        |
  | 5. Data from your app                      +------------------------------------------------+        |
  |                                                                                                      |
  |                                                                                                      |


Mailing List:


Mac Binary

curl -LO
tar xzvf chloe-0.0.5-osx.tgz
cd chloe-0.0.5
./bin/chloe start

Ubuntu Binary

tar xzvf chloe-0.0.5-ubuntu32.tgz
cd chloe-0.0.5
./bin/chloe start

From Source

  • Get you some erlang, on a mac:

    brew install erlang
  • Get rebar: start here. Or for mac:

    brew install rebar
  • Clone this repo:

    git clone
    cd chloe
  • Run these commands

    gem install rake
    rake bootstrap
    rake server
  • get sinatra and run the demo app in another terminal window

    gem install sinatra
    rake demo
  • Point your browser at http://localhost:4567 and open up the javascript console

  • demo.js sets up a chloe variable that is already connected to the server, do the following in the console:

      chloe.send("hi mom");
  • Relish the awesome.

  • To stop Chloe, enter q(). back in erlang
  • To stop the demo app, use Ctrl+C


Instantiate a Chloe object:

var chloe = new Chloe({host: 'localhost', port: 8901});

Define a function for handling incoming messages:

chloe.onmessage(function (message) {
  console.log('I got a message: ' + message);

Connect to Chloe and send a message:

chloe.connect(function () {

Subscribe to a channel (note that we do this within the connect callback, because subscribing to a channel requires sending a message to Chloe).

chloe.connect(function () {
  chloe.subscribe('pumpkin', function (message) {
    console.log('Someone was eating pumpkins: ' + message);

Server Side API

Sending a message to Chloe, which will then be sent to all connected browsers:

curl -d "data=This is the message data" http://localhost:8901/send

Sending a message to a specific channel in chloe:

curl -d "channel=pumpkin&data=Trotter" http://localhost:8901/send

Configuring Chloe

Chloe has a single configuration file, chloe-0.0.5/etc/app.config. Allowed options for the Chloe application are:

  • application_server_url: The url for the application server, ex: http://localhost:4567/updates
  • port: The port on which chloe runs (default: 8901)
  • log_dir: Where the Chloe log files will go (default: .)

Transport Types

Chloe currently supports Websockets, XHR, and JSONP as possible transports. If your browser does not support WebSockets, we'll intelligently fallback to JSONP or XHR.


Our primary test browser is Chrome. If you're using any other browser, please let us know if you run into issues.

This sucker is pretty alpha right now. There's a number of undocumented features, but everything that is documented seems to work. As with all alpha, open source software, ymmv. Pull requests gladly accepted!

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