NetworkZero makes it easier to use Python to connect things together across the internet. It’s especially focused on the classroom or club situation where short-lived programs need to discover each other on the same or a different computer without having to know IP addresses or hostnames.

It runs on Python 2.7 and Python 3.3+ and should run anywhere that Python runs. In particular, it’s tested automatically on Windows, Mac and Linux, and is used on Raspberry Pi.

NetworkZero offers two main services:

  • Discovering short-lived and ad hoc programs
  • Sending simple Python objects between programs

What can I use it for?

Anything which can make use of one machine or process to talk to another across a network. For example:

  • Sending commands to a robot
  • Sending data from an RPi with a sensor to a graphing PC and a long-term storage log
  • Showing the state of a shared game in one window while sending commands from another.

Can you give me an example?

[Machine or Process A]:

import networkzero as nw0

address = nw0.advertise("hello")
while True:
    name = nw0.wait_for_message_from(address)
    nw0.send_reply_to(address, "Hello " + name)

[Machine or Process B and C and D ...]:

import networkzero as nw0

hello ="hello")
reply = nw0.send_message_to(hello, "World!")
reply = nw0.send_message_to(hello, "Tim")

This runs a service, advertised under the name “hello” which will send back “Hello <name>” whenever <name> is sent to it. Other machines or processes discover the service and send names to it, receiving a greeting in return.