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Scott Comet for Web Games

For those not familiar with Comet, you’re either not a front end web developer or you’ve been kept in the dark. To sum it up quickly, Comet is a technology like Ajax. While Ajax basically consists of an asynchronous request by the client to the server, followed by the server’s response, Comet is a bit different. In Comet the client establishes a connection (or makes a request) to the server, and then generally keeps that connection open for the server to send responses back to the client on its own schedule.

In this way Comet opens up the possibility of a server sending information to clients based on events; in fact an event-driven server architecture is essentially the point of Comet.

A simple example would be a web chatroom. In a chat with three users, user one types a message and sends it (via an Ajax-enabled client in their browser, for example). The server receives the message and then sends that event over existing open connections to clients of users two and three, who then see the chat message. This is almost old news, really.

Comet is going to be big on the web, like Ajax before it, and it’s going to happen soon, maybe this year. I don’t know what the biggest, coolest applications of Comet will be, but I know one that interests me a lot: games. Comet and Ajax together allow for events to be triggered by the actions of one player and readily broadcast by the server to other players, all within something resembling the current web browser/web server paradigm. Web games are going to eat this up.

So say you are interested like me, where do you go next? Well, I’m just getting started but already there are a few items on my list:

In case you’re also somehow unfamiliar with these related topics, don’t forget:

One Response to “Comet for Web Games”

  1. […] the technically inclined, I have a few more details over at my programming blog. For everyone else, let me express my enthusiasm a bit more […]

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