The MQTT messaging protocol is great for physical computing projects and machine-to-machine messaging because it’s independent of the content. You can put whatever you want in a message, without worrying about formatting or internal structure. Message structure is defined, interpreted and acted on at the sending and receiving ends. Messages published to a topic can be interpreted differently, depending on the code you write. One edge-device might interpret a “1” message, as a command to turn on an LED, while a notebook, looking at that same “1” message, on the same topic might light up a green dot on a user’s desktop dashboard.
In this installment of the Off The Shelf Hacker column, we’ll look at using MQTT as the message transport method on a couple of actual devices networked to a data hub based on the CHIP low-cost processor.
Sounds complicated. Fortunately, we can use Python, which runs on nearly all Linux-based systems.
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