One last thing about SocketServer

Steve Holden steve at
Mon Oct 10 15:42:35 CEST 2005

rbt wrote:
> I've read more about sockets and now, I have a better understanding of
> them. However, I still have a few SocketServer module questions:
> When used with SocketServer how exactly does socket.setdefaulttimeout()
> work? Does it timeout the initial connect request to the socket server
> or does it timeout the session between the connecting client socket and
> the client socket the server generated to handle the incoming request? 
setdefaulttimeout() simply sets the default timeout for all sockets 
created thereafter. This timeout applies to any socket operation, I 
believe (though I am unsure about "accept()").

> Also, since the *only* thing a 'socket server' does is to create 'client
> sockets' to handle requests, how do I use socket object features on
> these generated clients to manage and/or monitor them?
When the accept() call on a socket returns a tuple(socket, address): the 
first element of the returned tuple is the socket you use to communicate 
with that particular client (in other words, it represents the server 
end of the connection that's just been accept()ed).

So you can read and write that socket to communicate with that client 
over that specific connection. Of course, if you don't use either the 
ThreadingMixIn or the ForkingMixIn then communication with one client 
will effectively stop you form accept()ing any more connections, hence 
the need for the mix-in classes.

> The SocketServer module is great, but it seems to hide too many details
> of what it's up to!
Well, of course, that is what abstractions are for! You should bear in 
mind that SocketServer isn't necessarily the most efficient or effective 
way to handle multiple clients concurrently, but it's very convenient 
when you are just getting started.

Later you might want to consider an asyncore-based approach, or perhaps 
using the Twisted package. Both of these solutions are a little more 
robust for production code.

Steve Holden       +44 150 684 7255  +1 800 494 3119
Holden Web LLC           
PyCon TX 2006        

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