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A more full-featured wrapper for web sockets using RxJS and RxJS-DOM





Build Status

A more advanced web socket wrapper for RxJS


With bower:

bower install -S rx-socket-subject

With npm:

npm install -S rx-socket-subject


The goals of this project is to produce an observable WebSocket implementation that meets a set of common needs for projects I'm currently working on. RxJS-DOM has a fine WebSocket implementation, which I modelled the initial work on this implementation off of. However, I need something that also does the following:

  • Socket that will automatically reconnect itself.
  • Socket that will automatically try additional endpoints.
  • Has seperate hooks for open, close, and error.
  • Will send proper close messages with WebSocket close codes to the server when onError is called.
  • Will send a close command to the server when onCompleted is called.
  • Will always force a single instance of a socket regardless of the number of subscriptions.
  • Will buffer messages fed to it via onNext if the underlying socket isn't open, send them all when it does open.

Basic Usage

// create a socket subject
// at this point an underlying WebSocket has not yet been created
var socket = RxSocketSubject.create('ws://');

// use the socket subject as an Observer and send
// messages with onNext()
// even though the underlying socket still hasn't been created,
// the messages will be buffered until a socket is made and connected

// subscribing to the socket subject as an Observable
// will start the socket and connect.
socket.forEach(function(e) {
	console.log(e); // raw message events are emitted

  // while the socket is connected, onNext will send the message
  // immediately through it.
}, 1000);

Closing the socket

var socket = RxSocketSubject.create('ws://');

var disposable = socket.forEach(function(e) {

	if( === 'two') {
		// use onCompleted to gracefully close the socket


Forcing an error close on the socket

There are some cases where you'll want to acknowledge what you've received from the server was an error. With a normal web socket, this is generally done with socket.close(code, reason). RxSocketSubject allows for this by leveraging onError when the subject is used as an Observable.

More information about WebSocket status codes can be found on MDN.

var socket = RxSocketSubject.create('ws://');

var disposable = socket.forEach(function(e) {

	if( === 'bad data') {
		// use onError to emit an error and send a close
		// command to the server with a status code and reason:
		// The following will send a status code of 1008 (a generic error)
		// as well as a reason "bad data received"
		socket.onError('bad data received');

	if( === 'unparsable data') {
		// you can also specify a custom error code with the 
		// ClientInitiatedError class
		socket.onError(new RxSocketSubject.ClientInitiatedError('unable to parse data', 4001));

	if( === 'wat') {
		// or you can just onError

Using fallback endpoints

// it's as simple as providing an array of endpoints to the `create()` method
// in order to have the socket fallback to another endpoint if connection fails
// or if an error closes the connection. The Subject will keep retrying each
// endpoint until one connects successfully

var socket = RxSocketSubject.create(['ws://', 'ws://', 'ws://']);