Threading

Importance of enable_multithread

The enable_multithread variable should be set to True when working with multiple threads. If enable_multithread is not set to True, websocket-client will act asynchronously and not be thread safe. This variable should be enabled by default starting with the 1.1.0 release, but had a default value of False in older versions. See issues #591 and #507 for related issues.

asyncio library usage

Issue #496 indicates that websocket-client is not compatible with asyncio. The engine-io project, which is used in a popular socket-io client, specifically uses websocket-client as a dependency only in places where asyncio is not used. If asyncio is an important part of your project, you might consider using another websockets library. However, some simple use cases, such as asyncronously receiving data, may be a place to use asyncio. Here is one snippet showing how asyncronous listening might be implemented.

async def mylisten(ws):
    result = await asyncio.get_event_loop().run_in_executor(None, ws.recv)
    return result

threading library usage

The websocket-client library has some built-in threading support provided by the threading library. You will see import threading in some of this project’s code. The echoapp_client.py example is a good illustration of how threading can be used in the websocket-client library. Another example is found in an external site’s documentation, which demonstrates using the _thread library, which is lower level than the threading library.

Possible issues with threading

Further investigation into using the threading module is seen in issue #612 which illustrates one situation where using the threading module can impact the observed behavior of this library. The first code example below does not trigger the on_close() function, but the second code example does trigger the on_close() function. The highlighted rows show the lines added exclusively in the second example. This threading approach is identical to the echoapp_client.py example. However, further testing found that some WebSocket servers, such as ws://echo.websocket.org, do not trigger the on_close() function.

NOT working on_close() example, without threading

import websocket

websocket.enableTrace(True)

def on_open(ws):
    ws.send("hi")

def on_message(ws, message):
    print(message)
    ws.close()
    print("Message received...")

def on_close(ws, close_status_code, close_msg):
    print(">>>>>>CLOSED")

wsapp = websocket.WebSocketApp("wss://api.bitfinex.com/ws/1", on_open=on_open, on_message=on_message, on_close=on_close)
wsapp.run_forever()

Working on_close() example, with threading

import websocket
import threading

websocket.enableTrace(True)

def on_open(ws):
    ws.send("hi")

def on_message(ws, message):
    def run(*args):
        print(message)
        ws.close()
        print("Message received...")

    threading.Thread(target=run).start()

def on_close(ws, close_status_code, close_msg):
    print(">>>>>>CLOSED")

wsapp = websocket.WebSocketApp("wss://api.bitfinex.com/ws/1", on_open=on_open, on_message=on_message, on_close=on_close)
wsapp.run_forever()

In part because threading is hard, but also because this project has (until recently) lacked any threading documentation, there are many issues on this topic, including: