Mesh Socket

Basic Usage

To connect to a mesh network, you will use the mesh_socket() object. You can instantiate this as follows:

> const mesh = require('js2p').mesh;
> sock = new mesh.mesh_socket('', 4444);

Using '' will (this feature in progress) automatically grab your LAN address. If you want to use an outward-facing internet connection, there is a little more work. First you need to make sure that you have a port forward setup (NAT busting is not in the scope of this project). Then you will specify this outward address as follows:

> const mesh = require('js2p').mesh;
> sock = new mesh.mesh_socket('', 4444, null, ['', 44565]);

Specifying a different protocol object will ensure that you only can connect to people who share your object structure. So if someone has 'mesh2' instead of 'mesh', you will fail to connect.

Unfortunately, this failure is currently silent. Because this is asynchronous in nature, raising an error is not possible. Because of this, it’s good to perform the following check the truthiness of mesh_socket.routing_table. If it is truthy, then you are connected to the network.

To send a message, you should use the send() method. Each argument you supply will correspond to a packet that your peer receives. In addition, there are two keyed arguments you can use. flag will specify how other nodes relay this. These flags are defined in js2p.base.flags . broadcast will indicate that other nodes are supposed to relay it. whisper will indicate that your peers are not supposed to relay it. There are other technically valid options, but they are not recommended. type will specify what actions other nodes are supposed to take on it. It defaults to broadcast, which indicates no change from the norm. There are other valid options, but they should normally be left alone, unless you’ve written a handler (see below) to act on this.

> sock.send(['this is', 'a test']);

Receiving is a bit simpler. When you call the recv() method, you receive a message() object. This has a number of methods outlined which you can find by clicking its name. Most notably, you can get the packets in a message with packets, and reply directly with reply().

> sock.send(['Did you get this?']);
> var msg = sock.recv();
> console.log(msg);
message {
 type: <Buffer 02>
 packets: [ <Buffer 79 65 73>, <Buffer 49 20 64 69 64> ]
 sender: '8vu4oLsvVBsnnH6N83z6y6RZqrMKRrVHr44xRwXCFaU9qcyYsjJDzVfKwmdGp51K4d' }
> msg.packets.forEach((packet) => {
... var str = packet.toString()
... console.log(util.inspect(str));
... });
'I did'
> console.log(msg.packets);
[ <Buffer 00>, <Buffer 79 65 73>, <Buffer 49 20 64 69 64> ]
> sock.recv(10).forEach((msg) => {
... msg.reply(["Replying to a list"]);
... });

Advanced Usage

In addition to this, you can register a custom handler for incoming messages. This is appended to the end of the included ones. When writing your handler, you must keep in mind that you are only passed a message() object and a mesh_connection(). Fortunately you can get access to everything you need from these objects. This example is in Python, but the Javascript syntax is identical.

>>> def relay_tx(msg, handler):
...     """Relays bitcoin transactions to various services"""
...     packets = msg.packets  # Gives a list of the non-metadata packets
...     server = msg.server    # Returns your mesh_socket object
...     if packets[0] == b'tx_relay':  # It's important that this flag is bytes
...         from pycoin import tx, services
...         relay = tx.Tx.from_bin(packets[1])
...         services.blockchain_info.send_tx(relay)
...         services.insight.InsightProvider().send_tx(relay)
...         return True        # This tells the daemon to stop calling handlers
>>> import py2p
>>> sock = py2p.mesh_socket('', 4444)
>>> sock.register_handler(relay_tx)

To help debug these services, you can specify a debug_level in the constructor. Using a value of 5, you can see when it enters into each handler, as well as every message which goes in or out.