HTTP

How to Make WebSockets Examples

WebSocket is a powerful technology that has found its way into many applications. Because of that, there are many libraries implemented in various languages to help programmers work with WebSocket protocol.

In this tutorial, we will quickly discuss some of these libraries and what they offer. This makes it easier to choose a specific library for the language you wish to use.

If you need an introduction to WebSockets and how they work, consider one of our tutorials on the same.

Socket.IO

Written in JavaScript, Socket.IO is probably one of the most popular open-source libraries to work with WebSocket. It uses the base WebSocket technology, and it offers bidirectional and event-based communication between the client and the server.

Socket.IO has a server implement in Node.JS and a client, which is a JavaScript library for browsers. Socket.IO also has client implementations in other languages such as C++, Java, and Python.

The following are features of the Socket.IO library:

Incredibly reliable: Socket.IO is highly reliable, providing HTTP Long-polling (See WebSocket vs. HTTP/2 vs. SSE tutorial) in the cases where a WebSocket connection fails to establish.

Offline Packet Buffering: Socket.IO buffers all the events transmitted when the socket is offline and until the socket is connected again.

Automatic reconnection.

Load balancer friendly.

Broadcasts to all clients, thus making it possible to send events to all the connected clients or a subset of clients.

https://socket.io/docs/v4/broadcasting-events/

Websockets

WebSockets is a simple and powerful Python library that allows you to implement WebSocket servers and clients in a simple and modular way. It builds on top of the python asyncIO framework that provides a well-developed API.

WebSockets library is built for focus and simplicity, making it a good choice for developers searching to implement WebSocket servers and clients in Python.

WS: a Node.js WebSocket library

As the title already indicates, WS is a WebSocket library for creating clients and servers in Node.js. Due to its compatibility with modern browsers, it is one of the popular WebSocket libraries.

WS provides all the necessary features under the rules of WebSockets. It is also one of the fastest and easy to work with a WebSocket library.

WebSocket++

WebSocket++ is a simple implementation of WebSockets. It provides portable, flexible, lightweight, and super-fast WebSocket performance.

However, unlike full-fledged WebSocket libraries such as Socket.IO, it is not built for web applications or service platforms. The purpose is to provide a backbone for WebSocket implementation in C++.

Check it out and see if it’s worth your time.

Flask-SocketIO

Flask-SocketIO is a simple and powerful library that provides Flask application developers with WebSockets features. It builds on top of Socket.IO and uses one Socket.IO client implementation to create a connection to the server.

You can check out the documentation in the link provided above.

WebSockt-Patchfix

This is a clean JavaScript application of the WebSocket protocol for Node.JS. It supports all modern browsers, including IE 10. Some of its features include:

  • Handle/aggregate received fragmented messages
  • Fragment outgoing messages
  • Router to mount multiple applications to various path and protocol combinations
  • TLS supported for outbound connections via WebSocketClient
  • TLS supported for server connections (use https.createServer instead of http.createServer

Conclusion

There is no one specific library that I can point to and say, “This is the one you should use for all your WebSocket needs.” All of the libraries mentioned (and many more I haven’t) have unique strengths and weaknesses. They all use the same WebSocket technology, but some may do a better job than others.

The best advice I can give you is to find a WebSocket that fits your needs. If none is available, create one.

About the author

John Otieno

My name is John and am a fellow geek like you. I am passionate about all things computers from Hardware, Operating systems to Programming. My dream is to share my knowledge with the world and help out fellow geeks. Follow my content by subscribing to LinuxHint mailing list