This project adds some extra complexity to Django projects with websocket-redis. This is because now there are two entry points instead of one. The default Django one, based on the WSGI protocol, which is used to handle the typical HTTP-Request-Response. And the new one Websocket for Redis, based on the HTTP, which handles the websocket part.

Django Loop and Websocket Loop

In this documentation, I use the terms Django Loop and Websocket Loop to distinguish these two entry points. You shall rarely need to access the Websocket Loop, because intentionally there are no hooks for adding server side logics. The latter must reside inside the Django loop using Redis as the communication engine between those two.

A reason one might need to debug inside the Websocket loop, is, because the subscriber was overridden using the configuration setting WS4REDIS_SUBSCRIBER. Therefore, one of the aims of this project is to facilitate the entry level for debugging. During development, hence the server is started with ./ runserver, this is achieved by hijacking the Django loop. Then the connection is kept open, until the client closes the Websocket.

If existing workers do not return, Django creates a thread for new incoming requests. This means that during debugging, each Websocket connection owns its own thread. Such an approach is perfectly feasible, however it scales badly and therefore should not be used during production.

Query the datastore

Sometimes you might need to know, why some data is bogus or was not sent/received by the client. The easiest way to do this is to access the Redis datastore.

$ redis-cli

In this command line interface, you can find out about all the data managed by Websocket for Redis. Redis offers many commands from which a few are useful here:


redis> keys *

Gives a list of all keys used in Redis. If a WS4REDIS_PREFIX is specified in, this prefixing string can be used to limit the keys to those used by Websocket for Redis.

If, for instance you’re interested into all messages available for broadcast, then invoke:

redis> keys [prefix:]broadcast:*

with the prefix, if set.


redis> get [prefix:]broadcast:foo

This returns the data available for broadcast for the facility named “foo”.

redis> get [prefix:]user:john:foo

This returns the data available for user “john” for the facility named “foo”.

redis> get [prefix:]session:wnqd0gbw5obpnj50zwh6yaq2yz4o8g9x:foo

This returns the data available for the browser owning the session-id wnqd0gbw5obpnj50zwh6yaq2yz4o8g9x for the facility named “foo”.


If Websocket for Redis is configured to not cache published data, no data buckets are filled. This is the case, when the configuration option WS4REDIS_EXPIRE is set to zero or None. In such a situation, the Redis commands keys and get won’t give you any information. But you can subscribe for listening to a named channel:

redis> subscribe [prefix:]broadcast:foo

This command blocks until some data is received. It then dumps the received data.

You have to reenter the subscribe command, if you want to listen for further data.