Inter-process communication (IPC) is a method of communication between processes on the same machine. In the context of Web3 development, IPC is used to enable communication between a decentralized application (dApp) and the Ethereum node running on the same machine.
This is done through a local socket or named pipe, which allows the dApp to send commands to the node and receive responses. IPC is a low-level protocol that is not directly accessible by most Web3 developers. Instead, they typically use higher-level APIs such as web3.js to interact with Ethereum nodes over IPC.
Web3.js includes support for IPC communication out-of-the-box, so developers can easily use it to send requests to their local Ethereum node and receive responses. One potential advantage of IPC over HTTP and WebSocket is that it can offer faster and more efficient communication, since it does not require the overhead of establishing a network connection.
Additionally, IPC can be more secure than other protocols since it only allows communication between processes running on the same machine, rather than over a network. However, IPC may be more difficult to set up than other protocols since it requires both the dApp and Ethereum node to be running on the same machine.