Isomorphic/Universal implementation of the node http module

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This module is an implementation of Node's native http module for the browser. It tries to match Node's API and behavior as closely as possible, but some features aren't available, since browsers don't give nearly as much control over requests.
This is heavily inspired by, and intended to replace, stream-http.

What does it do?

In accordance with its name, stream-http tries to provide data to its caller before the request has completed whenever possible.
All other supported browsers support pseudo-streaming, where the data is available before the request finishes, but the entire response must be held in memory. This works for both text and binary data.


const { https, http, getRequest } = require('iso-stream-http');

const req = new http.request('http://localhost/unicorns');
const req = new https.request('https://secure/unicorns');

// Detects url and returns http/https in node, just a helper function.
const req = new getRequest('https://secure/unicorns');

Extra features compared to Node

  • The message.url property provides access to the final URL after all redirects. This
is useful since the browser follows all redirects silently, unlike Node. It is available in Chrome 37 and newer, Firefox 32 and newer, and Safari 9 and newer.
  • The options.withCredentials boolean flag, used to indicate if the browser should send
cookies or authentication information with a CORS request. Default false.
  • options.requestTimeout allows setting a timeout in millisecionds for XHR and fetch (if
supported by the browser). This is a limit on how long the entire process takes from beginning to end. Note that this is not the same as the node setTimeout functions, which apply to pauses in data transfer over the underlying socket, or the node timeout option, which applies to opening the connection.

Features missing compared to Node

  • http.Agent is only a stub
  • The 'socket', 'connect', 'upgrade', and 'continue' events on http.ClientRequest.
  • Any operations, including request.setTimeout, that operate directly on the underlying
  • Any options that are disallowed for security reasons. This includes setting or getting
certain headers.
  • message.httpVersion
  • message.rawHeaders is modified by the browser, and may not quite match what is sent by
the server.
  • message.trailers and message.rawTrailers will remain empty.
  • Redirects are followed silently by the browser, so it isn't possible to access the 301/302
redirect pages.
  • The timeout event/option and setTimeout functions, which operate on the underlying
socket, are not available. However, see options.requestTimeout above.


http.get('/bundle.js', function (res) {
	var div = document.getElementById('result');
	div.innerHTML += 'GET /beep<br>';

	res.on('data', function (buf) {
		div.innerHTML += buf;

	res.on('end', function () {
		div.innerHTML += '<br>__END__';

Running tests

There are two sets of tests: the tests that run in Node (found in test/node) and the tests that run in the browser (found in test/browser). Normally the browser tests run on Sauce Labs.
Running npm test will run both sets of tests, but in order for the Sauce Labs tests to run you will need to sign up for an account (free for open source projects) and put the credentials in a .airtaprc file. You will also need to run a Sauce Connect Proxy with the same credentials.
To run just the Node tests, run npm run test-node.
To run the browser tests locally, run npm run test-browser-local and point your browser to the link shown in your terminal.


MIT © Hugo Dias