May Dev Derby: Show us what you can do with Websockets

The May Dev Derby is underway. A monthly contest hosted by the Mozilla Developer Network, the Dev Derby gives you the chance to apply the technology you read about on this blog, push the web forward, and compete for fame, glory, and prizes.

This month, we are excited to see what you can do with Websockets. Websockets allow you to send messages to a server and receive event-driven responses in real time, without server polling. But this is about more than just sending messages. Websockets have been used in BrowserQuest, Rawkets, and many other highly interactive applications.

Setting up a Websockets demo is more involved than setting up a static demo, but we know you can do it. As long as you keep these three simple rules in mind, everything should work flawlessly.

  1. To use Websockets, you need a server to communicate with. Thankfully, free services like Heroku and Nodejitsu provide just that.
  2. You do not need to use Heroku or Nodejitsu. If you use a different server, however, you must ensure that it has a signed SSL certificate.
  3. When building your demo, be sure to use the wss:// prefix (not the ws:// prefix) to specify the address of your server.

If you have any questions about setup, please let us know in the comments. We will work with you to resolve any issues you encounter. Otherwise, good luck and have fun!

Want to get a head start on a future Derby? We are also accepting entries related to the WebGL (June Derby) and demos that push the limits of the web without using JavaScript (July Derby).

About John Karahalis

John Karahalis is a software developer, a project manager, and a user experience enthusiast. He helps with web development on and project management on the Mozilla Developer Network, and he formerly led the Dev Derby contest.

More articles by John Karahalis…


  1. Xeon06

    Is it okay to use stuff like Socket.IO that wrap around the socket functionality?

    May 8th, 2012 at 21:15

    1. John Karahalis

      Sure! Guillermo Rauch, the creator of Socket.IO, is actually one of our judges.

      May 9th, 2012 at 15:25

  2. Phil

    What is the closing date? How do I submit an entry?

    May 24th, 2012 at 08:52

    1. John Karahalis

      The deadline is May 31, 2012 at 11:59:59pm Pacific Time. Please see the following page for instructions on submitting a demo:

      Let me know if you have any other questions!

      May 24th, 2012 at 13:27

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