Frequently Asked Questions - Android and iOS HTTP Library

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

What is Mesibo HTTP library?

Mesibo HTTP library is a light, super-fast cross-platform HTTP library that makes networking easier and portable across platforms as you will see from the examples below. It supports everything you need - sending REST API requests, uploads, downloads with resume, managing cache, and images, keep-alive etc. Moreover, it’s not just faster than other libraries, it’s blazingly fast!

Mesibo HTTP library is an extension of Mesibo real-time Client APIs. The complete documentation of HTTP library is available here.

Why Mesibo HTTP library when there are other HTTP libraries like Volley, Retrofit, and AFNetworking?

Valid question! In fact, we ourselves were using Volley for our Android development and AFNetworking for iOS development before we decided to use our own library. While those are good libraries, one of the fundamental issues is that they are only available for one platform. So not only you need to learn two different libraries but maintain two completely different codebases. Although unrelated, another issue we found with AFNetworking is that it is unreasonably bloated both in size and performance and complicated to use.

In contrast, Mesibo HTTP is a fresh approach. It’s a result of our experience using other libraries and limitations we met there. It’s quite evident from two examples below that how simple, powerful and portable Mesibo HTTP library is compared to other libraries.

Android File Upload Example

  Mesibo.Http http = new Mesibo.Http();
  http.url = "https://example.com";
  http.postBundle = post;
  http.uploadFile = filePath;
  http.execute();

iOS File Upload Example

  MesiboHttp *http = [MesiboHttp new];
  http.url = @"https://example.com";
  http.uploadFile = filePath;
  http.postBundle = post;
  [http execute];

Finally, Mesibo HTTP core is written in C/C++ and highly optimized. This makes it much faster, compact and less resource intensive compared to libraries written in Java.

Does Mesibo HTTP library supports HTTPS?

yes, it automatically detects http or https depending on the URL.

How to invoke a REST API with Mesibo HTTP?

Invoking REST API is as easy as creating a http object, adding parameters to Bunlde(Android) or NSDictionary(iOS) and invoke execute function of http object. Mesibo HTTP library takes care of URL encoding, etc.

Android Example

  Mesibo.init(content); //one time initialization

  // populate a Bundle with all the post parameters
  Bundle post = new Bundle();
  post.putString("name", "John");
  post.putInt("age", 30);
  post.putString("token", "some token");
   
  Mesibo.Http http = new Mesibo.Http();
  http.url = "https://example.com";
  http.postBundle = post;
  http.execute();

iOS Example

  NSMutableDictionary *post = [[NSMutableDictionary alloc] init];
    
  [post setValue:@"John" forKey:@"name"];
  [post setValue:[@(30) stringValue] forKey:@"age"];
  [post setValue:token forKey:@"token"];

  MesiboHttp *http = [MesiboHttp new];
  http.url = @"https://example.com";
  http.postBundle = post;
  [http execute];

isn’t it simple?

How do I upload a file?

Same as above, just pass file path to the http object and execute.

Android File Upload Example

  Mesibo.Http http = new Mesibo.Http();
  http.url = "https://example.com";
  http.uploadFile = filePath;
  http.execute();

iOS File Upload Example

  MesiboHttp *http = [MesiboHttp new];
  http.url = @"https://example.com";
  http.uploadFile = filePath;
  [http execute];

Can do I upload a file and send post data together (multipart form-data)?

Absolutely, just add postBundle in addition to uploadFile. Internally, it will be converted into multipart form-data when both uploadFile and postBundle data is present.

Android File Upload with POST data Example

  Mesibo.Http http = new Mesibo.Http();
  http.url = "https://example.com";
  http.postBundle = post;
  http.uploadFile = filePath;
  http.execute();

iOS File Upload with POST data Example

  MesiboHttp *http = [MesiboHttp new];
  http.url = @"https://example.com";
  http.uploadFile = filePath;
  http.postBundle = post;
  [http execute];

How do I download a file?

Same as above, just pass URL and file save path to the http object and execute.

Android File Download Example

  Mesibo.Http http = new Mesibo.Http();
  http.url = "https://example.com";
  http.downloadFile = filePath;
  http.resume = true;
  http.execute();

iOS File Download Example

  MesiboHttp *http = [MesiboHttp new];
  http.url = @"https://example.com";
  http.downloadFile = filePath;
  http.resume = YES;
  [http execute];

How to resume broken downloads?

Just add a flag resume and Mesibo HTTP library will resume any broken downloads. Refer to example above. You can also disable this feature and force entire download by initializing it to false.

How to decode JSON data?

Both Android and iOS platforms make it super easy to decode JSON data.

Android Example String data = http.getDataString(); try { Response resp = mGson.fromJson(data, Response.class); } catch (Exception e) {}

Complete Code on GitHub

iOS Example NSError *jsonerror = nil;

NSData *data = [[http getDataString] dataUsingEncoding:NSUTF8StringEncoding];
id jsonObject = [NSJSONSerialization JSONObjectWithData:data 
                           options:NSJSONReadingAllowFragments error:&jsonerror];

Complete Code on GitHub

How to make a synchronous request?

To make a synchronous request, invoke executeAndWait instead of execute function.

Can I control timeouts?

Absolutely, in fact, HTTP library can let you control timeout at various states; timeout to connect, timeout to receive headers, timeout to receive the body, as shown below.

http.connectionTimeout = 15000; // 15 seconds
http.headerTimeout = 10000; // 10 seconds
http.bodyTimeout = 10000; // 10 seconds for every chunk of body packet

Refer to HTTP Library documentation for all the options.

How to enable Caching?

By default, the cache is enabled and the responses are cached adhering to standard and server response. Mesibo will not cache if the server has restricted response from being cached. It also re-validates the cached objects as recommended by the server in its cache control response headers.

You can, however, override this default behavior per request using various caching options in HTTP object; for example, forced caching or forced reading from the cache without revalidating.

http.updateCacheForced = true; 

For more details, refer to Cache Control Fields section in HTTP Library documentation.

How to enable Persistent Connections (Keep-Alive) and Requests Pipelining?

By default, mesibo enables intelligent Keep-Alive and request pipelining for effective resource utilization and to get faster responses. You can, however, turn off this behavior per request by setting the ‘persistent’ field to false in the HTTP object.

Can I send custom/additional HTTP headers?

Of course you can, refer to HTTP Library documentation for all the options.

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