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README.md

Socket.IO Server: Sockets for the rest of us

The Socket.IO server provides seamless support 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, execute the following:

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 for requests on 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 to have your HTTP server listen on port 80, socket.io can intercept requests directed to it, and 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 as shown in the available options below.

On the server:

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:

<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 are served automatically by Socket.IO-node.

Documentation

Listener

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

Returns: a Listener instance

Public Properties:

  • server

    An instance of process.http.Server.

  • options

    The passed-in options, combined with the defaults.

  • clients

    An object of clients, indexed by session ID.

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)

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

  • broadcast(message, [except])

    Broadcasts a message to all clients. Optionally, you can pass a single session ID or array of session IDs to avoid broadcasting to, as the second argument.

Options:

  • resource

      socket.io
    

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

  • flashPolicyServer

      true
    

    Create a Flash Policy file server on port 843 (this is restricted port and you will need to have root permission). If you disable the FlashPolicy file server, Socket.IO will automatically fall back to serving the policy file inline.

  • 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 parameters.

  • clientDisconnect(client)

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

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

Client

Client(listener, req, res)

Public Properties:

  • listener

    The Listener instance to which this client belongs.

  • connected

    Whether the client is connected.

  • connections

    Number of times the client has 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

In order to make polling transports simulate the behavior of a full-duplex WebSocket, a session protocol and a message framing mechanism are required.

The session protocol consists of the generation of a session id that is passed to the client when the communication starts. Subsequent connections to the server within that session send that session id in the URI along with the transport type.

Message encoding

(message type)":"(content length)":"(data)","

(message type) is a single digit that represents one of the known message types (described below).

(content length) is the number of characters of (data)

(data) is the message

0 = force disconnection
  No data or annotations are sent with this message (it's thus always sent as "0:0:,")
  
1 = message
  Data format:
  (annotations)":"(message)

  Annotations are meta-information associated with a message to make the Socket.IO protocol extensible. They're conceptually similar to HTTP headers. They take this format:

    [key[:value][\n key[:value][\n ...]]]

  For example, when you `.send('Hello world')` within the realm `'chat'`, Socket.IO really is sending:

    1:18:r:chat:Hello world,

  Two annotations are used by the Socket.IO client: `r` (for `realm`) and `j` (for automatic `json` encoding / decoding of the message).

2 = heartbeat
  Data format:
  (heartbeat numeric index)
  
  Example:
    2:1:0,
    2:1:1,

3 = session id handshake
  Data format:
  (session id)

  Example:
    3:3:253,

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.