Encode JavaScript binary data into strings to send over the network.

Usage no npm install needed!

<script type="module">
  import jettison from '';


jettison Build Status

jettison helps you encode binary JavaScript data into strings, so you can send it over things like WebSockets.

Getting Started

To use jettison, you need to define a shared schema on the client and server. Within the schema, you define a set of packets, each with a name and a set of properties for the packet. These schemas need to match between the client and the server because the packets are identified by integers. If they don't match, packets sent by one side won't correspond to the correct definition on the other side.

Here's an example schema with two packets:

var schema = jettison.createSchema();

// This packet is sent when a new object is created.
schema.define('spawn', [
  {key: 'id', type: 'uint32'},
  {key: 'x', type: 'float64'},
  {key: 'y', type: 'float64'},
  {key: 'color', type: 'uint32'},
  {key: 'health', type: 'int32'},
  {key: 'points', type: 'array', valueType: 'float64'}

// This packet is sent when an object's position changes.
schema.define('position', {
  {key: 'id', type: 'uint32'},
  {key: 'x', type: 'float64'},
  {key: 'y', type: 'float64'}

Types that are currently supported are:

Type Description
boolean 1 byte true or false.
int8 1 byte signed integer. Range is -128 to 127 (inclusive).
int16 2 byte signed integer. Range is -32768 to 32767.
int32 4 byte signed integer. Range is -2147483648 to 2147483647.
uint8 1 byte unsigned integer. Range is 0 to 255.
uint16 2 byte unsigned integer. Range is 0 to 65535.
uint32 4 byte unsigned integer. Range is 0 to 4294967295.
float32 4 byte floating point number. Note that normal JavaScript numbers will be rounded to fit this size, so decoded values will only approximately equal the originals.
float64 8 byte floating point number. Normal JavaScript numbers are stored in this format, so these will be transmitted without rounding.
array A variable length array of another type. When you use this type, you must also specify a valueType field, which will specify the type of value in the array.
string A variable length string. JavaScript's UTF-16 strings are encoded to UTF-8 for transmission.

Note that values out of range will be truncated (so a value of 256 encoded as a uint8 will be truncated to 255, and a value of -1 will be truncated to 0).

Once you have a schema, you can use it to encode and decode objects like so:

var string = schema.stringify('spawn', {
  id: 1,
  x: 123.456,
  y: 789.012,
  color: 0x00ffff,
  health: 100,
  points: [
    0.1, 0.2,
    0.3, 0.4,
    0.5, 0.6

var parsed = schema.parse(string);
console.log(parsed.key);   // "spawn"
console.log(;  // {"id": 1, "x": 123.456, ...}