auto-packaged, length-prefixed JSON byte streams

Burro build status

Burro is a useful creature that auto-packages objects in length-prefixed JSON byte streams.


Burro is made up of 4 streams that makes sending/receiving objects a breeze

Sender streams:

  • burro.Encoder - encodes objects into proper JSON strings
  • burro.Framer - frames JSON in a uint32be length-prefixed buffer

Receiver streams:

  • burro.Unframer - processes length prefix and parses out JSON
  • burro.Decoder - decodes JSON into objects


var burro  = require("burro"),
    stream = require("stream");

// dummy network stream
var network = new stream.PassThrough();
// wrap! auto encode/decode json frames
var socket = burro.wrap(network);

// send data
socket.write({message: "どもうありがとう!", from: "japan", to: "usa"});
socket.write({message: "thank you!", from: "usa", to: "japan"});

// dummy parser; extracts message from payload
var parser = new stream.Transform({objectMode: true});
parser._transform = function _transform (obj, encoding, done) {
  this.push(obj.from + " says: " + obj.message + "\n");

// cross the streams!


japan says: どもうありがとう!
usa says: thank you!


Available via npm:

$ npm install burro

Or via git:

$ git clone git:// node_modules/burro



This is burro's easy mode. It will automatically construct the entire burro chain around your existing duplex stream. If you want to configure the burro chain manually, please see lib/burro.js

var socket = burro.wrap(duplexStream);


  • duplexStream - an object implementing the stream.Duplex API. It must have the following functions defined: _read, _write, pipe, unpipe.


Burro is a pretty versatile beast and can even handle very large payloads. It is also tested against network packet fragmenting and buffering, thanks to hiccup. See the tests for more details.

Development dependencies:

$ npm install mocha

$ npm install hiccup