All messages are routed through channels, and channel topics are where clients subscribe to listen for new messages. Channels define 3 public methods that can be used:

  • handle_joined - Called when a user joins a channel.

  • handle_message - Called when a user sends a message to a channel. A common message handler will simply rebroadcast the message to the other subscribers with rebroadcast! method.

  • handle_leave - Called when a user leaves the channel.

Example Usage

A channel can be generated by calling amber g channel ChatRoom.

class ChatRoomChannel < Amber::Websockets::Channel

  # optional
  # Authorization can happen here  
  def handle_joined(client_socket, message)
    # channel join related functionality
    # if client_socket.session[:user_id] != message["payload"]["user_id"]
    #   client_socket.disconnect!
    # end

  # required
  def handle_message(client_socket, msg)

  # optional
  def handle_leave(client_socket)
    # channel leave functionality    

What happens when a user joins?

The handle_joined method is invoked when a user lands on a web page that has a new Amber.Socket established through the JavaScript on it. This method allows you to run any logic needed to authorize who should be connected to a channel. This is also a great way to send out a #{name} has joined the chat! message to all those currently listening to the channel.

How are messages broadcasted?

Whenever a user sends a message that is broadcasted through the JavaScript channel.push function, the handle_message method is invoked. Here the message is then rebroadcasted to all those who are connected to the channel. The message is then transmitted through the channel.on('message_new') listener in the JavaScript. Before the message gets broadcast, here is where you would want to insert records into your database, if you wanted to keep a history of messages sent or received.

What happens when a user leaves?

When a user leaves the web page that currently has an established socket connection, the connection breaks and triggers a message to be sent on the servers side. The handle_leave method handles this in the channels class. Here is where a message such as #{name} has left the chat! could be sent out to all connected clients.

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