zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
I'm trying to figure out what the state of the art is for so-called "reverse AJAX", "long polling", "Comet", etc. In a nutshell, I want to be able to have browsers open a connection to my server and then sit there and wait for data. Ideally, it will be a two-way connection that can pass data back and forth, but I'm OK with a one-way (server to browser) connection.

The downside of long polling is that you have to reconnect every time the server has something for you. This is fine in an environment where you're not getting a lot of data, but in the case that something is very popular (and generating a lot of message traffic), that's rather subpar.

Comet seems like it'd actually be the best. Using the Bayeux protocol, have a server and then client libraries, subscriptions, channels, etc. That sounds perfect. But it doesn't seem to really be under active development anywhere. At least, the only code I can find is from 2006-2008 and with how fast browsers and everything moves, I'm wary of things that aren't stamped 2009. (And even warier when I can't find much documentation or talk about something.)

I've also heard via Jesse about using Flash as a conduit. Which sounds like it'd do everything I want, but then you have to have this little Flash plugin on your page. Which is something that I think I'm against on principle, as I feel like JavaScript should be able to handle this functionality.

So: dear lazyweb, what is the state of the art here? What are people doing to solve problems like this and have amazingly interactive web sites, etc?

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zorkian: Icon full of binary ones and zeros in no pattern. (Default)
Mark Smith

April 2017

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