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A Django app providing the features required to use websockets with Django via Socket.IO

Project Description
.. image::

Created by `Stephen McDonald <>`_

State of django-socketio

django-socketio is currently bound to 0.6, which is considerably
out of date. It's fully functional, but some browsers now have newer
implentations of WebSockets, and so alternative transports are
fallen back to in these cases.

Work is currently underway to bring django-socketio up to date with the
latest gevent-socktio, which has just recently started to support 0.8

Follow this thread for more info:


django-socketio is a `BSD licensed`_ `Django`_ application that
brings together a variety of features that allow you to use
`WebSockets`_ seamlessly with any Django project.

django-socketio was inspired by `Cody Soyland`_'s introductory
`blog post`_ on using `Socket.IO`_ and `gevent`_ with Django, and
made possible by the work of `Jeffrey Gelens'`_ `gevent-websocket`_
and `gevent-socketio`_ packages.

The features provided by django-socketio are:

* Installation of required packages from `PyPI`_
* A management command for running gevent's pywsgi server with
auto-reloading capabilities
* A channel subscription and broadcast system that extends
Socket.IO allowing WebSockets and events to be partitioned into
separate concerns
* A `signals`_-like event system that abstracts away the various
stages of a Socket.IO request
* Support for out-of-band (non-event) broadcasts
* The required views, urlpatterns, templatetags and tests for all
the above


Prior to version 0.3, the message argument sent to each of the event
handlers was always a Python list, regardless of the data type that
was used for sending data. As of 0.3, the message argument matches the
data type being sent via JavaScript.


Note that if you've never installed gevent, you'll first need to
install the libevent development library. You may also need the Python
development library if not installed. This can be achieved on Debian
based sytems with the following commands::

$ sudo apt-get install python-dev
$ sudo apt-get install libevent-dev

or on OSX using `Homebrew`_ (with Xcode installed)::

$ brew install libevent
$ export CFLAGS=-I/brew/include

or on OSX using `macports`::

$ sudo port install libevent
$ CFLAGS="-I /opt/local/include -L /opt/local/lib" pip install django-socketio

The easiest way to install django-socketio is directly from PyPi using
`pip`_ by running the following command, which will also attempt to
install the dependencies mentioned above::

$ pip install -U django-socketio

Otherwise you can download django-socketio and install it directly
from source::

$ python install

Once installed you can then add ``django_socketio`` to your
``INSTALLED_APPS`` and ``django_socketio.urls`` to your url conf::

urlpatterns = patterns('',
url("", include('django_socketio.urls')),

The client-side JavaScripts for Socket.IO and its extensions can then
be added to any page with the ``socketio`` templatetag::

{% load socketio_tags %}
{% socketio %}
var socket = new io.Socket();
// etc


The ``runserver_socketio`` management command is provided which will
run gevent's pywsgi server which is required for supporting the type of
long-running request a WebSocket will use::

$ python runserver_socketio host:port

Note that the host and port can also configured by defining the following
settings in your project's settings module:

* ``SOCKETIO_HOST`` - The host to bind the server to.
* ``SOCKETIO_PORT`` - The numeric port to bind the server to.

These settings are only used when their values are not specified as
arguments to the ``runserver_socketio`` command, which always takes

.. note::

On UNIX-like systems, in order for the ``flashsocket`` transport
fallback to work, root privileges (eg by running the above command
with ``sudo``) are required when running the server. This is due to
the `Flash Policy Server`_ requiring access to a `low port`_ (843).
This isn't strictly required for everything to work correctly, as
the ``flashsocket`` transport is only used as one of several
fallbacks when WebSockets aren't supported by the browser.

When running the ``runserver_socketio`` command in production, you'll
most likely want to use some form of process manager, like
`Supervisor`_ or any of the other alternatives.


The WebSocket implemented by gevent-websocket provides two methods for
sending data to other clients, ``socket.send`` which sends data to the
given socket instance, and ``socket.broadcast`` which sends data to all
socket instances other than itself.

A common requirement for WebSocket based applications is to divide
communications up into separate channels. For example a chat site may
have multiple chat rooms and rather than using ``broadcast`` which
would send a chat message to all chat rooms, each room would need a
reference to each of the connected sockets so that ``send`` can be
called on each socket when a new message arrives for that room.

django-socketio extends Socket.IO both on the client and server to
provide channels that can be subscribed and broadcast to.

To subscribe to a channel client-side in JavaScript use the
``socket.subscribe`` method::

var socket = new io.Socket();
socket.on('connect', function() {
socket.subscribe('my channel');

Once the socket is subscribed to a channel, you can then
broadcast to the channel server-side in Python using the
``socket.broadcast_channel`` method::

socket.broadcast_channel("my message")

Broadcast and Send Methods

Each server-side socket instance contains a handful of methods
for sending data. As mentioned above, the first two methods are
implemented by `gevent-socketio`_:

* ``socket.send(message)`` - Sends the given message directly to
the socket.
* ``socket.broadcast(message)`` - Sends the given message to all
other sockets.

The remaning methods are implemented by django-socketio.

* ``socket.broadcast_channel(message, channel=None)`` - Sends the
given message to all other sockets that are subscribed to the
given channel. If no channel is given, all channels that the
socket is subscribed to are used.
the socket.
* ``socket.send_and_broadcast(message)`` - Shortcut that sends the
message to all sockets, including the sender.
* ``socket.send_and_broadcast_channel(message, channel=None)``
- Shortcut that sends the message to all sockets for the given
channel, including the sender.

The following methods can be imported directly from
``django_socketio`` for broadcasting and sending out-of-band (eg: not
in response to a socket event). These methods map directly to the same
methods on a socket instance, and in each case an appropriate connected
socket will be chosen to use for sending the message, and the
``django_socketio.NoSocket`` exception will be raised if no connected
sockets exist.

* ``django_socketio.broadcast(message)``
* ``django_socketio.broadcast_channel(message, channel)``
* ``django_socketio.send(session_id, message)``

Note that with the ``send`` method, the socket is identified by its
session ID, accessible via ``socket.session.session_id``. This is a
WebSocket session ID and should not be confused with a Django session
ID which is different.


The ```` module provides a handful of events
that can be subscribed to, very much like connecting receiver
functions to Django signals. Each of these events are raised
throughout the relevant stages of a Socket.IO request. These events
represent the main approach for implementing your socket handling
logic when using django-socketio.

Events are subscribed to by applying each event as a decorator
to your event handler functions::

from import on_message

def my_message_handler(request, socket, context, message):

Where should these event handlers live in your Django project? They
can go anywhere, so long as they're imported by Django at startup
time. To ensure that your event handlers are always loaded, you can
put them into a module called ```` in one of your apps listed
in Django's ``INSTALLED_APPS`` setting. django-socketio looks for these
modules, and will always import them to ensure your event handlers are

Each event handler takes at least three arguments: the current Django
``request``, the Socket.IO ``socket`` the event occurred for, and a
``context``, which is simply a dictionary that can be used to persist
variables across all events throughout the life-cycle of a single
WebSocket connection.

* ``on_connect(request, socket, context)`` - occurs once when the
WebSocket connection is first established.
* ``on_message(request, socket, context, message)`` - occurs every
time data is sent to the WebSocket. Takes an extra ``message``
argument which contains the data sent.
* ``on_subscribe(request, socket, context, channel)`` - occurs when
a channel is subscribed to. Takes an extra ``channel`` argument
which contains the channel subscribed to.
* ``on_unsubscribe(request, socket, context, channel)`` - occurs
when a channel is unsubscribed from. Takes an extra ``channel``
argument which contains the channel unsubscribed from.
* ``on_error(request, socket, context, exception)`` - occurs when
an error is raised. Takes an extra ``exception`` argument which
contains the exception for the error.
* ``on_disconnect(request, socket, context)`` - occurs once when
the WebSocket disconnects.
* ``on_finish(request, socket, context)`` - occurs once when the
Socket.IO request is finished.

Like Django signals, event handlers can be defined anywhere so long
as they end up being imported. Consider adding them to their own
module that gets imported by your urlconf, or even adding them to
your views module since they're conceptually similar to views.

Binding Events to Channels

All events other than the ``on_connect`` event can also be bound to
particular channels by passing a ``channel`` argument to the event
decorator. The channel argument can contain a regular expression
pattern used to match again multiple channels of similar function.

For example, suppose you implemented a chat site with multiple rooms.
WebSockets would be the basis for users communicating within each
chat room, however you may want to use them elsewhere throughout the
site for different purposes, perhaps for a real-time admin dashboard.
In this case there would be two distinct WebSocket uses, with the chat
rooms each requiring their own individual channels.

Suppose each chat room user subscribes to a channel client-side
using the room's ID::

var socket = new io.Socket();
var roomID = 42;
socket.on('connect', function() {
socket.subscribe('room-' + roomID);

Then server-side the different message handlers are bound to each
type of channel::

def my_dashboard_handler(request, socket, context, message):

def my_chat_handler(request, socket, context, message):


The following setting can be used to configure logging:

* ``SOCKETIO_MESSAGE_LOG_FORMAT`` - A format string used for logging
each message sent via a socket. The string is formatted using
interpolation with a dictionary. The dictionary contains all the
keys found in Django's ``request["META"]``, as well as ``TIME``
and ``MESSAGE`` keys which contain the time of the message and
the message contents respectively. Set this setting to ``None``
to disable message logging.

Chat Demo

The "hello world" of WebSocket applications is naturally the chat
room. As such django-socketio comes with a demo chat application
that provides examples of the different events, channel and broadcasting
features available. The demo can be found in the ``example_project``
directory of the ``django_socketio`` package. Note that Django 1.3 or
higher is required for the demo as it makes use of Django 1.3's
``staticfiles`` app.

.. _`BSD licensed`:
.. _`Django`:
.. _`WebSockets`:
.. _`Cody Soyland`:
.. _`blog post`:
.. _`Socket.IO`:
.. _`Jeffrey Gelens'`:
.. _`gevent`:
.. _`gevent-websocket`:
.. _`gevent-socketio`:
.. _`PyPI`:
.. _`signals`:
.. _`Homebrew`:
.. _`pip`:
.. _`Supervisor`:
.. _`Flash Policy Server`:
.. _`low port`:
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Release History

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