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Python Comet Server

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Python Comet Server

I am building a web application that has a real-time feed (similar to Facebook's newsfeed) that I want to update via a long-polling mechanism. I understand that with Python, my choices are pretty much to either use Stackless (building from their Comet wsgi example) or Cometd + Twisted. Unfortunately there is very little documentation regarding these options and I cannot find good information online about production scale users of comet on Python.

Has anyone successfully implemented comet on Python in a production system? How did you go about doing it and where can I find resources to implement my own?

Orbited seems as a nice solution. Haven't tried it though.


Update: things have changed in the last 2.5 years.

We now have websockets in all major browsers, except IE (naturally) and a couple of very good abstractions over it, that provide many methods of emulating real-time communication.

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I recommend you should use StreamHub Comet Server - its used by a lot of people - personally I use it with a couple of Django sites I run. You will need to write a tiny bit of Java to handle the streaming - I did this using Jython. The front-end code is some real simple Javascript a la:

StreamHub hub = new StreamHub();
hub.connect("http://myserver.com/");
hub.subscribe("newsfeed", function(sTopic, oData) { alert("new news item: " + oData.Title); });

The documentation is pretty good - I had similar problems as you trying to get started with the sparse docs of Cometd et al. For a start I'd read Getting Started With Comet and StreamHub, download and see how some of the examples work and reference the API docs if you need to:

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I've done tons of APIs using twisted for stuff like that, most of which are available on my github account.

Most are client-side, but slosh is a server I wrote to do a realtime cheap pubsub sort of thing. It scales somewhat horizontally for reads by allowing for simple stream replication. Writes are a little different when you stick to plain HTTP, but I've pushed a decent amount through it for a demo.

Otherwise, you have full-on BOSH which most XMPP servers support and will allow you to decouple the message distribution from the web frontend.

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