mizzao:timesync

v0.5.2Published 3 months ago

meteor-timesync Build Status

NTP-style time synchronization between server and client, and facilities to use server time reactively in Meteor applications.

What's this do?

Meteor clients don't necessarily have accurate timestamps relative to your server. This package computes and maintains an offset between server and client, allowing server timestamps to be used on the client (especially for displaying time differences). It also provides facilities to use time reactively in your application.

There is a demo as part of the user-status app at http://user-status.meteor.com.

Installation

meteor add mizzao:timesync

Usage

  • TimeSync.serverTime(clientTime, updateInterval): returns the server time for a given client time, as a UTC/Unix timestamp. A reactive variable which changes with the computed offset, and updates continually. Pass in clientTime optionally to specify a particular time on the client, instead of reactively depending on the current time. Pass in updateInterval to change the rate (in milliseconds) at which the reactive variable updates; the default value is 1000 (1 second).
  • TimeSync.serverOffset(): returns the current time difference between the server and the client. Reactively updates as the offset is recomputed.
  • TimeSync.roundTripTime(): The round trip ping to the server. Also reactive.
  • TimeSync.isSynced(): Reactive variable that determines if an initial sync has taken place.
  • TimeSync.resync(): Re-triggers a sync with the server. Can be useful because the initial sync often takes place during a lot of traffic with the server and could be less accurate.
  • TimeSync.loggingEnabled: defaults to true, set this to false to suppress diagnostic syncing messages on the client.

To use the above functions in a non-reactive context, use Deps.nonreactive. This is useful if you are displaying a lot of timestamps or differences on a page and you don't want them to be constantly recomputed on the client. However, displaying time reactively should be pretty efficient with Meteor 0.8.0+ (Blaze).

Note that TimeSync.serverTime returns a timestamp, not a Date, but you can easily construct a date with new Date(TimeSync.serverTime(...)).

You can also use something like TimeSync.serverTime(null, 5000) to get a reactive time value that only updates at 5 second intervals. All reactive time variables with the same value of updateInterval are guaranteed to be invalidated at the same time.

Notes

  • This library is a crude approximation of NTP, at the moment. It's empirically shown to be accurate to under 100 ms on the meteor.com servers.
  • We could definitely do something smarter and more accurate, with multiple measurements and exponentially weighted updating.
  • Check out the moment library packaged for meteor for formatting and displaying the differences computed by this package.