Websockets are one of the coolest things to hit the web in ages. They allow the browser real-time communication bridging one of the last gaps in both human and web-based communication. Socket io is the king library that uses websockets under the hood. There’s a good chance if you’re reading this, you’ve heard about socket io. Maybe even done a tutorial on it. But how far did you get? In my experience, the vast majority of the material on the web goes no farther than a quick-start, instant chat app. You don’t learn how anything works, never look at the docs, and are stuck at the end wondering what to do now. The remaining shred of material is waaaaay over everyone’s head. The fact that the websocket API was standardized in 2011 and most developers still don’t know how to use it is evidence of the gap.
I first used socket.IO in 2013 for a tiny company directory app. I’ve been following since and have been frustrated that it hasn’t gotten more mainstream notice because it opens the way for so many improvements to existing applications and obvious groundwork for new ones. Let’s change that 🙂 Prepare to for a detailed look at socketio and websockets and start going real-time.