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18.18 SocketServer -- A framework for network servers

18.18 SocketServer -- A framework for network servers

The SocketServer module simplifies the task of writing network servers.

There are four basic server classes: TCPServer uses the Internet TCP protocol, which provides for continuous streams of data between the client and server. UDPServer uses datagrams, which are discrete packets of information that may arrive out of order or be lost while in transit. The more infrequently used UnixStreamServer and UnixDatagramServer classes are similar, but use Unix domain sockets; they're not available on non-Unix platforms. For more details on network programming, consult a book such as W. Richard Steven's UNIX Network Programming or Ralph Davis's Win32 Network Programming.

These four classes process requests synchronously; each request must be completed before the next request can be started. This isn't suitable if each request takes a long time to complete, because it requires a lot of computation, or because it returns a lot of data which the client is slow to process. The solution is to create a separate process or thread to handle each request; the ForkingMixIn and ThreadingMixIn mix-in classes can be used to support asynchronous behaviour.

Creating a server requires several steps. First, you must create a request handler class by subclassing the BaseRequestHandler class and overriding its handle() method; this method will process incoming requests. Second, you must instantiate one of the server classes, passing it the server's address and the request handler class. Finally, call the handle_request() or serve_forever() method of the server object to process one or many requests.

When inheriting from ThreadingMixIn for threaded connection behavior, you should explicitly declare how you want your threads to behave on an abrupt shutdown. The ThreadingMixIn class defines an attribute daemon_threads, which indicates whether or not the server should wait for thread termination. You should set the flag explicitly if you would like threads to behave autonomously; the default is False, meaning that Python will not exit until all threads created by ThreadingMixIn have exited.

Server classes have the same external methods and attributes, no matter what network protocol they use:

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