Python: Best practice start/stop in socket flow control

I'm writing a relatively simple script for receiving data via a network socket in Python. The client wants to stick with some form of start/stop signal included in the message because the sending clients will all be written in different languages, and he wants to avoid application layer assists like ZeroMQ.

I have a script which looks for start and stop signals, currently just text ("STOPSTOPSTOP" as the end of the message) but it seems klunky and prone to misinterpretation.

What might be a more ideal start and stop signal that can be attached to a socket message?

It's also been suggested using the http protocol for message passing control, but I'm not sure how to do that :-)

This is what I've come up with to date. Would love to hear suggestions for improvement.

def recv_with_timeout(the_socket,timeout=2):
    the_socket.setblocking(0)
    total_data=[]
    new_total_data=[]
    data=''
    begin=time.time()
    while True:
        #if you got some data, then break after wait sec
        if total_data and time.time()-begin>timeout:
            print "Hit timeout" #333
            break
        #if you got no data at all, wait a little longer
        elif time.time()-begin>timeout*2:
            break
        try:
            data=the_socket.recv(8192)
            if data:
                print "data = ", data #333
                if EOT in data:
                    print "EOT found" #333
                    total_data.append(data[:data.find(End)])
                    break
                total_data.append(data)
                if len(total_data)>1:
                    #check if EOT_of_data was split
                    if EOT in ''.join(total_data): #last_pair:
                        print "EOT was split" #333
                        break
                begin=time.time()
            else:
                time.sleep(0.1)
        except:
            pass
    final_data = ''.join(total_data)
    final_data = final_data.rstrip('(0x04)')
    return final_data

Open in new window


I'd also be quite interested in learning about the features Twisted matrix offers to help with socket flow control.

Can anyone suggest a good entry point in the Twisted manual, so I don't waste a lot of time just trying to find the pertinent reading?

Many thanks!
LVL 3
Mike R.Asked:
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gheistCommented:
You can use select.select() to replace all the sleeps.
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