Nurturing Pluto's Martians


    1.1.5 • Public • Published


    This package is a redux middleware implementation for websocket actions using the bsock client.


    npm install --save bsock-middleware

    import { createStore, applyMiddleware } from 'redux';
    import thunkMiddleware from 'redux-thunk';
    import bsockMiddleware from 'bsock-middleware';
    import rootReducer from './reducers';
    export default function configureStore(initialState) {
      return createStore(rootReducer, initialState,
        applyMiddleware(thunkMiddleware, bsockMiddleware)

    What is bsock?

    bsock is a minimal websocket-only implementation of the protocol, complete with ES6/ES7 features. It is extremely performant and lightweight. It is also compatible with the api so this can be used to communicate with a server if necessary. More information on bsock, see the official repo on GitHub

    Redux Middleware and Websockets

    This redux middleware implementation is based off the following resources and examples:

    To get a detailed overview of how middlewares work in redux, check out the official docs. The basic idea is that through some JavaScript currying magic and leveraging the predictablity of state changes you can intercept actions to operate on from middleware (and pass along to subsequent middleware if necessary). From the docs:

    One of the benefits of Redux is that it makes state changes predictable and transparent. Every time an action is dispatched, the new state is computed and saved. The state cannot change by itself, it can only change as a consequence of a specific action

    [Middleware] provides a third-party extension point between dispatching an action, and the moment it reaches the reducer. People use Redux middleware for logging, crash reporting, talking to an asynchronous API, routing, and more.

    Middleware is particularly useful when dealing with networking and async operations that operate on the store. For situations when we want websocket interactions to update the state of the store, say we receive a message that should update the state or want to send a message and change the state upon acknowledgement from the server, we have middleware.

    The important things that a piece of middleware gets access to are the actions and the store. This means we can do things like dispatch or getState from our middleware, or check what a action.type is that has been dispatched.


    bsock-middleware checks for a few things when it intercepts actions. If an action does not have a bsock property at all, it just passes the action on to the next middleware in the chain via return next(action).

    Action Types

    If it does have a bsock property then these are the action types it reacts to:


    (Notice there is nothing for listeners. We'll get to that next).

    Options for each are sent as properties in the bsock property on the action.

    CONNECT_SOCKET accepts port, host, ssl, and protocols

    DISCONNECT_SOCKET takes no properties

    EMIT_SOCKET takes type, message, and an optional acknowledge function. If there is an acknowledge function passed, bsock will use the call method instead of fire and wait to receive an acknowledgement which will then be passed to the passed acknowledge function. This should be an action creator as it gets passed to the store's dispatch function.

    Options and Listeners

    bsockMiddleware returns a function. To add the middleware you call it and can optionally pass in an options object which currently takes only two properties: debug (bool) and listeners. debug is self-explanatory (true will log status messages to your console). listeners is an array of listener objects with properties event and actionType (both strings) and an optional ack property.

    When you connect a socket, any listeners passed in the options are added to the socket. What happens is that when an event is "heard", the payload is received and then passed to an action creator with type actionType and payload payload which is then dispatched. If there is an ack property, then the hook method is used which returns an acknowledgement message of Buffer.from(ack) after dispatching the action creator.

    Simple Example

    First install the package with npm:

    npm install --save bsock-middleware


    /* store/index.js */
    import { combineReducers, createStore, applyMiddleware } from 'redux';
    import thunkMiddleware from 'redux-thunk';
    import bsockMiddleware from 'bsock-middleware';
    import * as reducers from './reducers';
    const listeners = [
        event: 'foo bar',
        actionType: 'FOO_BAR_RECEIVED'
    const options = { debug: true, listeners };
    const rootReducer = combineReducers(reducers);
    const middleware = [thunkMiddleware, bsockMiddleware(options)]
    const store = createStore(rootReducer, applyMiddleware(...middleware));
    export default store;

    Action Creators

    /* store/actions/socketActions.js */
    export function connectSocket() {
      return {
        type: 'CONNECT_SOCKET',
        bsock: {
          host: 'localhost',
          port: 5000
    export function emitFizz() {
      return {
        type: 'EMIT_SOCKET',
        bsock: {
          type: 'fizz',
          message: Buffer.from('buzz'),
          acknowledge: acknowledgeFizzBuzz
    export function acknowledgeFizzBuzz(ack) {
      return {
        type: 'ACKNOWLEDGE_FIZZ_BUZZ',
        payload: ack


    /* store/reducers/index.js */
    export const fooState(state = {}, action){
      let newState = { ...state };
      switch (action.type) {
        case 'FOO_BAR_RECEIVED': {
          newState.fooBar = action.payload
          return newState;
          return state;

    Then at the entry point of your app simply dispatch connectSocket(). After that, you can start listening for foo bar via the FOO_BAR_RECEIVED action type, emitting by dispatching emitFizz, and even catch erros with SOCKET_ERROR (dispatched by the middleware).

    Contribution and License Agreement

    If you contribute code to this project, you are implicitly allowing your code to be distributed under the MIT license. You are also implicitly verifying that all code is your original work. </legalese>


    • Copyright (c) 2017, Buck Perley (MIT License).


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