Occasionally people ask me for the sources to Debian packages that I publish on Launchpad. As it turns out, the sources are already there, you just have to know how to get to them. Fortunately it’s trivially easy to do.
WebSockets are an exciting new technology designed to make it easier to create real time applications by providing a full-duplex communication channel between the browser and the server. In layman’s terms that means that information can be sent and received by the application at the same time. One of the easiest ways to write apps using WebSockets is to make use of the excellent Socket.io library, which is used in conjunction with Node. The usual strategy when building a Node app is to put Nginx in front of Node as a reverse proxy that serves any static content. This was a problem if you wanted to use WebSockets though, as Nginx didn’t know how to proxy those requests. Until now…
Speed is a Good Thing ™ when it comes to your site loading. Generally speaking, if people can’t start interacting with your site quickly, meaning within a few seconds of when they first get there, your engagement numbers are going to plummet. The folks over at Google are keenly aware of this and have therefore introduced a new protocol called SPDY which is designed to make the initial load time of modern web pages faster. It’s already in use at places such as GMail and Twitter, so this is not just a theoretical endeavor. My friends over at Automattic sponsored an initial implementation of SPDY for the Nginx web server, and I’ll explain how to use this cool new tech on your own sites.