A complete overhaul and tones of improvements on Distro.

Published on May 28, 2014

What's distro?

The distro module is intended to simplify the way services communicate with each other. It abstracts several different transports while providing a consistent interface. It also specifies a message format and comes with some helper factories to create and parse those messages.

It comes with some prepackaged transports for udp4 and udp6, tcp and redis (using pub-sub). You can easily create your own transports as plug-ins (more details below). Note that there is not interoperability between transports. Both clients and servers have to use the same transport to be able to talk to each other.

Updates on version 0.3.1

Message goes mainstream.

Before you needed to call the create() method of the distro module before creating a new message.

    var distro = require('distro');
    distro.create().message(headers, payload);

That makes no sense, specially with the new semantics of the create method (see below). The message method can be called directly from the module now.

    var distro = require('distro');
    distro.message(headers, payload);

Added support for Redis (pub-sub) as a transport.

If you don't want to use udp or tcp to pass messages around and you prefer using a queue, distro have you covered now. Just use the redis transport and use pub-sub underneath.

Fixed big oversight from previous versions.

Before v 0.3.0 you registered callbacks directly on the verbs and the Uri filtering was done by the sever. This is sub-optimal to say the least.

Now, all the registration methods (except receive) take the Uri as the first parameter.

    server.get("/path/", callbackGet);

This keeps the same functionality as before for all the methods, even the receive method. All callbacks registered with receive will be called each time a message is processed by the server regarding verb or Uri.

New transports and you can implement your own.

Transports are implemented as plug-ins. You can implement your own transport that respond the same API and inject the module as the first argument of the create() method.

    var distro = require('distro');
    var myTransport = require('smoke-signals-transport');

    var server = distro.create(myTransport).sever();

Better error messages.

Not just better error messages but a few more error checking in place to try to avoid the most common problems.

Much better test coverage due to the new design.


Plans for the future.

I'm planning on changing a few more things fairly soon in the way message headers are constructed and how back and forth communication takes place.