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[ Socket.io Client: respond to all events with one handler? ]

Is it possible to have a socket.io client respond to all events without to have specify each event individually?

For example, something like this (which obviously doesn't work right now):

var socket = io.connect("http://myserver");

socket.on("*", function(){
  // listen to any and all events that are emitted from the
  // socket.io back-end server, and handle them here.

  // is this possible? how can i do this?

I want this callback function to be called when any / all events are received by the client-side socket.io code.

Is this possible? How?

Answer 1

Updated solution for socket.io-client 1.3.7

var onevent = socket.onevent;
socket.onevent = function (packet) {
    var args = packet.data || [];
    onevent.call (this, packet);    // original call
    packet.data = ["*"].concat(args);
    onevent.call(this, packet);      // additional call to catch-all

Use like this:

socket.on("*",function(event,data) {

None of the answers worked for me, though the one of Mathias Hopf and Maros Pixel came close, this is my adjusted version.

NOTE: this only catches custom events, not connect/disconnect etc

Answer 2

It looks like the socket.io library stores these in a dictionary. As such, don't think this would be possible without modifying the source.

From source:

EventEmitter.prototype.on = function (name, fn) {
    if (!this.$events) {
      this.$events = {};

    if (!this.$events[name]) {
      this.$events[name] = fn;
    } else if (io.util.isArray(this.$events[name])) {
    } else {
      this.$events[name] = [this.$events[name], fn];

    return this;

Answer 3

Here you go ...

var socket = io.connect();
var globalEvent = "*";
socket.$emit = function (name) {
    if(!this.$events) return false;
    for(var i=0;i<2;++i){
        if(i==0 && name==globalEvent) continue;
        var args = Array.prototype.slice.call(arguments, 1-i);
        var handler = this.$events[i==0?name:globalEvent];
        if(!handler) handler = [];
        if ('function' == typeof handler) handler.apply(this, args);
        else if (io.util.isArray(handler)) {
            var listeners = handler.slice();
            for (var i=0, l=listeners.length; i<l; i++)
                listeners[i].apply(this, args);
        } else return false;
    return true;
    var args = Array.prototype.slice.call(arguments, 1);
    console.log("Global Event = "+event+"; Arguments = "+JSON.stringify(args));

This will catch events like connecting, connect, disconnect, reconnecting too, so do take care.

Answer 4

Note: this answer is only valid for socket.io 0.x

You can override socket.$emit

With the following code you have two new functions to:

  • Trap all events
  • Trap only events which are not trapped by the old method (it is a default listener)
var original_$emit = socket.$emit;
socket.$emit = function() {
    var args = Array.prototype.slice.call(arguments);
    original_$emit.apply(socket, ['*'].concat(args));
    if(!original_$emit.apply(socket, arguments)) {
        original_$emit.apply(socket, ['default'].concat(args));

socket.on('default',function(event, data) {
    console.log('Event not trapped: ' + event + ' - data:' + JSON.stringify(data));

socket.on('*',function(event, data) {
    console.log('Event received: ' + event + ' - data:' + JSON.stringify(data));

Answer 5

The current (Apr 2013) GitHub doc on exposed events mentions a socket.on('anything'). It appears that 'anything' is a placeholder for a custom event name, not an actual keyword that would catch any event.

I've just started working with web sockets and Node.JS, and immediately had a need to handle any event, as well as to discover what events were sent. Can't quite believe this functionality is missing from socket.io.

Answer 6

There is a long discussion about this topic going on at the Socket.IO repository issue page. There are a variety of solutions posted there (e.g., overriding EventEmitter with EventEmitter2). lmjabreu released another solution a couple weeks ago: a npm module called socket.io-wildcard that patches in a wildcard event onto Socket.IO (works with the current Socket.IO, ~0.9.14).

Answer 7

Because your question was pretty general in asking for a solution, I'll pitch this one that requires no hacking the code, just a change in how you use the socket.

I just decided to have my client app send the exact same event, but with a different payload.

socket.emit("ev", { "name" : "miscEvent1"} );
socket.emit("ev", { "name" : "miscEvent2"} );

And on the server, something like...

socket.on("ev", function(eventPayload) {

I don't know if always using the same event could cause any issues, maybe collisions of some kind at scale, but this served my purposes just fine.

Answer 8

All methods I found (including socket.io-wildcard and socketio-wildcard) didn't work for me. Apparently there is no $emit in socket.io 1.3.5...

After reading socket.io code, I patched up the following which DID work:

var Emitter = require('events').EventEmitter;
var emit = Emitter.prototype.emit;
var onevent = socket.onevent;
socket.onevent = function (packet) {
    var args = ["*"].concat (packet.data || []);
    onevent.call (this, packet);    // original call
    emit.apply   (this, args);      // additional call to catch-all

This might be a solution for others as well. However, ATM I don't exactly understand why nobody else seems to have issues with the existing "solutions"?!? Any ideas? Maybe it's my old node version (0.10.31)...

Answer 9

@Matthias Hopf answer

Updated answer for v1.3.5. There was a bug with args, if you wanna listen on old event and * event together.

var Emitter = require('events').EventEmitter;
var emit = Emitter.prototype.emit;
// [...]
var onevent = socket.onevent;
socket.onevent = function (packet) {
    var args = packet.data || [];
    onevent.call (this, packet);    // original call
    emit.apply   (this, ["*"].concat(args));      // additional call to catch-all

Answer 10

Finally, there is a module called socket.io-wildcard which allows using wildcards on client and server side

var io         = require('socket.io')();
var middleware = require('socketio-wildcard')();


io.on('connection', function(socket) {
  socket.on('*', function(){ /* … */ });