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I stumbled across this little gem the other day – websocketd – which turns anything that takes standard-in and standard-out into a websocket server!
To build a dead simple echo server, follow these steps:
- follow the download instructions here (don’t forget to add it to your PATH)
- create a new console application in Visual Studio (let’s call the console app EchoServer), something like this will suffice:
- run this in command line:
Since we enabled the dev console with the devconsole flag we can now go to http://localhost:8080 in the browser and test out our echo websocket server interactively:
pretty sweet, right?
One thing to keep in mind though before you consider websocketd for any serious development work, is its implementation details. Based on this paragraph from its project page:
websocketdwill start a WebSocket server on a specified port, and listen for connections.
Upon a connection, it will fork the appropriate process, and disconnect the process when the WebSocket connection closes (and vice-versa).
Any message sent from the WebSocket client will be piped to the process’s
STDINstream, followed by a
Any text printed by the process to
STDOUTshall be sent as a WebSocket message whenever a
\nnewline is encountered.
in our case this means every time a new connection is establish websocketd will start a new instance of our console app which in practice is unlikely to be what we actually want in a websocket application such as a multiplayer game, and in any production system forking will become really expensive really quickly!
Keep in mind though that it’s still a work-in-progress so the implementation details might change in the future.
I specialise in rapidly transitioning teams to serverless and building production-ready services on AWS.
Are you struggling with serverless or need guidance on best practices? Do you want someone to review your architecture and help you avoid costly mistakes down the line? Whatever the case, I’m here to help.
Check out my new podcast Real-World Serverless where I talk with engineers who are building amazing things with serverless technologies and discuss the real-world use cases and challenges they face. If you’re interested in what people are actually doing with serverless and what it’s really like to be working with serverless day-to-day, then this is the podcast for you.
Check out my new course, Learn you some Lambda best practice for great good! In this course, you will learn best practices for working with AWS Lambda in terms of performance, cost, security, scalability, resilience and observability. We will also cover latest features from re:Invent 2019 such as Provisioned Concurrency and Lambda Destinations. Enrol now and start learning!
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Are you working with Serverless and looking for expert training to level-up your skills? Or are you looking for a solid foundation to start from? Look no further, register for my Production-Ready Serverless workshop to learn how to build production-grade Serverless applications!
Here is a complete list of all my posts on serverless and AWS Lambda. In the meantime, here are a few of my most popular blog posts.
- Lambda optimization tip – enable HTTP keep-alive
- You are wrong about serverless and vendor lock-in
- You are thinking about serverless costs all wrong
- Just how expensive is the full AWS SDK?
- Many faced threats to Serverless security
- We can do better than percentile latencies
- Yubl’s road to Serverless
- AWS Lambda – should you have few monolithic functions or many single-purposed functions?
- AWS Lambda – compare coldstart time with different languages, memory and code sizes
- Guys, we’re doing pagination wrong
- Top 10 Serverless framework best practices