connectme 1.0.0
connectme: ^1.0.0 copied to clipboard

WebSocket connection management library to handle client-server communication in event-based manner or await-query style (using PackMe messages).

What is ConnectMe #

ConnectMe is a lightweight library for working with WebSocket connections both on client and server sides. It allows you to:

  • create connections to WebSocket servers with different options (like autoReconnect, queryTimeout);
  • create WebSocket servers using any InternetAddress object;
  • manage connections on server side using default or your own Client class;
  • send messages of different data types: String, Uint8List or PackMe messages;
  • listen to any messages (including possibility to listen for specific client on server side);
  • asynchronously query data using PackMe messages: SomeResponse response = await client.query(SomeRequest());
  • broadcast messages to all clients or group of clients specified by criteria;

It is integrated with PackMe #

PackMe is an extremely fast binary serializer with built-in script for generating .dart classes from simple JSON manifest files. It provides an easy and efficient way to pack your class objects into binary buffers and vice versa.

Usage #

It is recommended to use PackMe messages for data exchange since it gives some important benefits such as clear communication protocol described in JSON, asynchronous queries support out of the box and small data packets size.

Here's a simple manifest.json file (located in packme directory) for some hypothetical client-server application (see PackMe JSON manifest format documentation here):

{
    "get_user": [
        {
            "id": "string"
        },
        {
            "first_name": "string",
            "last_name": "string",
            "age": "uint8"
        }
    ]
}

Generate dart files:

# Usage: dart run packme <json_manifests_dir> <generated_classes_dir>
dart run packme packme generated

Using on server side:

import 'generated/manifest.generated.dart';
import 'package:connectme/connectme.dart';

void main() async {
    final ConnectMeServer server = await ConnectMe.serve(InternetAddress('127.0.0.1'),
        port: 31337,
        onConnect: (ConnectMeClient client) {
            print('${client.headers.host} connected.');
        },
        onDisconnect: (ConnectMeClient client) {
            print('${client.headers.host} disconnected.');
        },
    );
    
    // Listen for a String message and send reverse string back to client.
    server.listen<String>((String message, ConnectMeClient client) {
        client.send(message.split('').reversed.join(''));
    });

    // Register PackMe messages from manifest.generated.dart to be able to listen for them.
    server.register(manifestMessageFactory);
    
    // Listen for GetUserRequest message and reply with GetUserResponse.
    server.listen<GetUserRequest>((GetUserRequest request, ConnectMeClient client) {
        // GetUserRequest.$response method returns GetUserResponse associated with current request.
        final GetUserResponse response = request.$response(
            firstName: 'Alyx',
            lastName: 'Vance',
            age: 19,
        );
    });
}

Using on client side:

import 'generated/manifest.generated.dart';
import 'package:connectme/connectme.dart';

void main() async {
    final ConnectMeClient client = await ConnectMe.connect('ws://127.0.0.1:31337');
    
    // Register PackMe messages from manifest.generated.dart to be able to process them.
    client.register(manifestMessageFactory);

    // Listen for reverse String messages from the server.
    client.listen<String>((String message) {
        print('Here is our reversed string: $message');
    });
    
    // Send a string message to the server.
    client.send('Was it a car or a cat I saw?');
    
    // Query user data from the server. 
    final GetUserResponse response = client.query<GetUserResponse>(GetUserRequest(id: 'hl3'));
    print('A person name is ${response.firstName} ${response.lastName} and she is ${response.age} years old.');
}

Server initialization and options #

There are two methods available:

  • ConnectMe.server
  • ConnectMe.serve
  • int port - port to listen (leave empty when using unix named sockets), default value: 0;
  • T Function(WebSocket, HttpHeaders)? clientFactory - factory function which returns T class instance;
  • int queryTimeout - timeout of query calls in seconds, default value: 30;
  • Function(String)? onLog - log function, it is recommended to always set it;
  • Function(String, [StackTrace])? onError - error handler function, it is recommended to always set it;
  • Function(T)? onConnect - client connect callback;
  • Function(T)? onDisconnect - client disconnect callback.
final ConnectMeServer server = ConnectMe.server(...);
await server.serve();

// Is the the same as:

final ConnectMeServer server = await ConnectMe.serve(InternetAddress('127.0.0.1'),

Client initialization and options #

There are two methods available:

  • ConnectMe.client(String, {options}) - creates and returns ConnectMeClient instance;
  • ConnectMe.connect(String, {options}) - creates ConnectMeClient instance and establishes a connection. Returns Future
  • Map<String, dynamic> headers - custom headers to send on connection;
  • bool autoReconnect - automatically reconnect when connection is lost, true by default;
  • int queryTimeout - timeout of query calls in seconds, default value: 30;
  • Function(String)? onLog - log function, it is recommended to always set it;
  • Function(String, [StackTrace])? onError - error handler function, it is recommended to always set it;
  • Function()? onConnect - connect callback;
  • Function()? onDisconnect - disconnect callback.
final ConnectMeClient client = ConnectMe.client(...);
await client.connect();

// Is the the same as:

final ConnectMeClient client = await ConnectMe.connect(...);

Send data #

You can send messages of different data types: String, Uint8List and PackMe messages.

client.send("Is this what you've been waiting for?");
client.send(Uint8List.fromList(<int>[1, 2, 4]));
client.send(GetUserResponse(
    firstName: 'Alyx',
    lastName: 'Vance',
    age: 19,
));

Keep in mind that GetUserResponse is sent as Uint8List as well. It means there is a tiny chance that your Uint8List data might be identified as PackMe message. In order to avoid this, it is not recommended to mix Uint8List and PackMe messages within a single client or server instance. Or just ensure that the first 4 bytes of your data never match those specified in registered PackMe message factories (Map<int, PackMeMessage> keys).

Listen for message events #

Methods server.listen

void _handleServerStringMessage(String message, ConnectMeClient client) {
    print('Got a message: $message from client ${client.headers.host}');
}

void _handleServerGetUserRequest(GetUserRequest request, ConnectMeClient client) {
    print('A client ${client.headers.host} asked for a user with ID: ${request.id}');
}

void _handleClientGetUserResponse(GetUserResponse response) {
    print('Got a user from server: $response');
}

void main() async {
    // ... whatever code goes here
    
    server.listen<String>(_handleServerStringMessage);
    server.listen<GetUserRequest>(_handleServerGetUserRequest);
    client.listen<GetUserResponse>(_handleClientGetUserResponse);
    
    // ... whatever code goes here
    
    server.cancel<String>(_handleServerStringMessage);
    server.cancel<GetUserRequest>(_handleServerGetUserRequest);
    client.cancel<GetUserResponse>(_handleClientGetUserResponse);
}

Listen for specific client messages #

Sometimes it is useful to be able to add message listeners for some specific clients only, for example, logged in users only. Instead of verifying it in global message listeners (which is less secure).

bool _isAuthorizedToDoSomething(String codePhrase) {
    return codePhrase == "I am Iron Man.";
}

void main() async {
    // ... whatever code goes here
    
    // Listen for some authorization request from connected clients.
    server.listen<AuthorizeRequest>((AuthorizeRequest request, ConnectMeClient client) {
        if (_isAuthorizedToDoSomething(request.codePhrase)) {
            client.listen<GodModeRequest>(_handleGodModeRequest);
            client.listen<AllWeaponsRequest>(_handleAllWeaponsRequest);
            client.listen<KillEveryoneRequest>(_handleKillEveryoneRequest);
            client.send(request.$response(
                allowed: true,
                reason: 'Welcome on board!',
            ));
        }
        else {
            client.send(request.$response(
                allowed: false,
                reason: 'You are not Iron Man.',
            ));
            // Close client connection.
            client.close();
        }
    });
}

Broadcasting messages #

ConnectMeServer has a method broadcast() which allows you to send a message to all connected clients:

// Send a String message to all connected clients.
server.broadcast('Cheese for Everyone!');

// Send a String message to specific clients only.
server.broadcast('Scratch that! Cheese for no one.', (ConnectMeClient client) {
    return client.headers.host == '127.0.0.1';
});

Managing server clients #

You can access all connected clients via property List

  • WebSocket? socket - client connection socket;
  • late final HttpHeaders headers - HTTP headers sent by client on connection;
// Close all local connections. Keep in mind that it will automatically remove those clients from server.clients.
List<ConnectMeClient> _clientsToDisconnect = <ConnectMeClient>[];
_clientsToDisconnect.addAll(server.clients.where((ConnectMeClient client) => client.headers.host == '127.0.0.1'));
for (final ConnectMeClient client in _clientsToDisconnect) client.close();

Supported platforms #

Now it's available for Dart only. Soon will be implemented for JavaScript. Will there be more platforms? Well it depends... If developers will find this package useful then it will be implemented for C++ I guess.

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Publisher

minimagic.games

WebSocket connection management library to handle client-server communication in event-based manner or await-query style (using PackMe messages).

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Documentation

Documentation
API reference

License

MIT (LICENSE)

Dependencies

packme

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