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From Marcel Kinard <>
Subject Re: [plugins] Static or Dynamic Libraries
Date Fri, 22 Feb 2013 20:38:57 GMT
So if I back up for a moment and look at the bigger picture, it looks like what you are going
for is to make it easier for Cordova users to pick up plugins, either base ones or third-party
ones. There are many ways to do that, providing precompiled code is one way.

If I were to step into the shoes of a relatively new Cordova user who wanted to pick up a
plugin for my app, I don't think the compilation is difficult enough to warrant some workaround
such as providing libraries. My [admitedly, limited] understanding is that as a Cordova user
I always need to use the device SDK to build my app. Therefore the compiler is right there
and it's not difficult to invoke (i.e., iOS always needs compilation).

While still in the shoes of that Cordova user, what appears to be more challenging in that
role is figuring out what files are needed, where to put them, and what to edit (i.e., config.xml).
Basically, getting the environment and content setup for the SDK to run against. After that,
running the SDK/compiler is easy. So for this difficulty, the kinds of helps could include:
- docs: overall on how to install/remove plugins, and plugin-specific docs on their specific
- tooling: a CLI (i.e., plugman) that could make it as easy as npm
- verification: help me as a user understand if the plugin is in there correctly, (i.e., smoke
test or something like 'rpm -V')

tl;dr: IMHO, those three things listed above is where we should put our effort to make plugins
easier, then see where that gets us. I think it will drive us the furthest forward. Then go
back an reevaluate whether or not to provide precompiled libs to see if it truly makes life
easier for the user, or if it complicates life for the user.

The library idea is neat, it ought be captured in Jira while these other things are worked
on first.

-- Marcel Kinard
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