Released 7 years ago , Last update 7 years ago

WaterSpout is a lightweight web server capable of handling WebSocket requests. When used as part of an event-driven server pair, WaterSpout enables real-time communication between the user's browser and the server using WebSockets or long polling. The reduced overhead as well as the specialized nature of the code running on the WaterSpout server make for extremely efficient communications between the user and the server.

WaterSpout is a real-time communication server built in PHP. It enables systems to communicate effectively and efficiently with many users at once. WaterSpout uses WebSockets and long polling to allow messages to be distributed to multiple users. It can server all of your sites content, but it is most effective when used in tandem with a traditional web server. The main web server can handle normal web requests while WaterSpout distributes messages to the appropriate users who are currently visiting your site.


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Personal License

  • Perpetual license

  • 1 site, unlimited servers

  • No distribution (hosted use only)

  • Commercial use



  • PHP 5.2.1 or above (PHP 5.3.x is recommended)
  • The following extensions must be enabled:
    • mbstring
    • sockets
    • openssl (required only if you want to enable ssl)


Getting Started


This "Getting Started" guide will walk you through the steps necessary to run the Locke demo. The Locke demo is a small virtual world where characters that look like John Locke from the show "Lost" can walk around and speak to each other. The demo serves static file content and uses either long polling or websockets (depending on the user's browser) to keep the characters synchronized across all users' screens.

3 Simple Steps

  1. Check out the source from SVN
  2. From the top level of the check out run via the command line: php server.php
  3. Goto: http://localhost:7777/demos/locke


Traditional AJAX calls require the user's browser to request updates from the server at timed intervals. This is a wasteful process. The overhead of several users asking for updates via traditional HTTP requests far out weighs the useful information which is returned to them. Most requests result in empty responses and all of the processing and data transfer is wasted. WaterSpout uses WebSockets and long polling to dramatically cut down on the overhead of keeping your users up to date with the latest information. This reduced overhead allows you to keep vital resources free and servering the rest of your users. 

Additionally, WaterSpout allows for broadcast messaging. Instead of each user checking in to see if there is anything new on the server, one server event fires off notifications to all of your users. This level of real-time communication keeps your users up-to-date without over burdening your systems. This makes for happy users and happier system administrators.

This presentation shows you just how much you can improve the user experience while considerably reducing your system utilization levels. 

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