Working with NGINX for WebSockets Support

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We have recently, and quietly, started to roll out WebSocket support.

We did this by working with NGINX and co-sponsoring the development of it (read their announcement here).

This started as we had users asking about WebSocket - and we were at a crossroads - NGINX is a great web server and has proven to be battle-hardened, fast and super reliable, and responsive to changing needs.

Reinventing the wheel with a more bespoke routing layer was one option (I actually worked on one of these - a TCP mode router that worked with WebSockets) - but we realised we would have to have multiple tools in play for some time - and this made us sad.

Happily I (Michael) was goofing off on Twitter one day with people - talking about WebSocket, and then a conversation with NGINX was started that eventually led to the co-sponsoring of this feature.

We are excited as we think this is the right way - this stuff is open source, available for everyone - and lowers the barrier for WebSocket adoption, - and we get to keep using NGINX for what it does best! Less wheel re-invention. (I do like to re-invent wheels though, but in this case, best left to the experts).

Some temporary demos:
Play2 with chat (gotta have a chat app - this is the Play2 sample)
WebRTC (video chat) - please don’t turn this into chatroulette!
Source for the latter one: https://github.com/michaelneale/webrtc.io-clickstart (thanks to Daniel Kutik for making that one work!)

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