Going Asynchronous

While the cycle.Plan gives us the means to implement a traditional request-response cycle, with unfiltered-netty you also have the option to respond asynchronously to the request. When used with other asynchronous libraries, this can result in more efficient use of threads and support for more simultaneous connections.

Other Asynchronous Libraries

Luckily, the “nettyplayin” project created in the last few pages already depends on a second asynchronous library, dispatch-nio, which acts as client for HTTP requests to other services. Using an async.Plan with dispatch.nio.Http, we can query other HTTP services to satisfy a request without hoarding a thread for the many milliseconds it could take to perform that request.

Always Sunny in…

Google has a secret weather API. Let’s use that until they take it offline.

import dispatch._
val h = new nio.Http
def weather(loc: String) =
  :/("www.google.com") / "ig/api" <<? Map(
    "weather" -> loc)

Paste that into a console, then you can print the response like this:

h(weather("San+Francisco") >- { x => println(x) })

You may notice that the prompt for the next command appears before the response is printed. It’s working!

Taking the Temperature

Now all we have to do is consume this service from a server.

import unfiltered.response._
import unfiltered.netty._

val temp = async.Planify {
  case req =>
    h(weather("San+Francisco") <> { reply =>
      val tempC = (reply \\\\ "temp_c").headOption.flatMap {
      req.respond(PlainTextContent ~>
                  ResponseString(tempC + "°C"))


Pasting all that into a console should start up a server that always gives you the temperature in San Francisco (the closest city by that name to Google’s headquarters, anyway). When you are done with this hardcoded showpiece, shut down the Dispatch executor it was using so we can move on real deal.