We’ve added support for Server Sent Events (SSE) as an integrated Server Notifications option that can be used as an alternative for Web Sockets at: https://github.com/ServiceStack/ServiceStack/wiki/Server-Events
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Is SignalR a perfect project that can solve every problem? Can we ignore the root, don't have any understanding of websocket, never implement anything with websocket alone but all built on top of SignalR?
There are also other alternative out there. XSockets, WebSocket listener.
If you use either XSockets or SIgnalR, which means you are dependent on their communication rule, if they ever change without backward support, which you will suffer. That's what exactly happen from SignalR 1.0.0RC1 to 1.0.0 RC2. Protocol version upgrade without backward support. That means if your server change, all client have to upgrade.