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From Michael Brooks <mich...@michaelbrooks.ca>
Subject Re: [plugins] Static or Dynamic Libraries
Date Fri, 22 Feb 2013 21:30:28 GMT
Great responses everyone. We've now got a decent overall of the iOS and WP
landscape, not to mention use-cases of other projects such Google Maps.

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.


Marcel, this is the feedback that I was hoping to see! Thanks a bunch for
the analysis.

The project is always driven by what gives ours users the most value. So,
it makes sense to not lose sight of our goal - offering plugins to users.
If the first phase is source-code only, then so be it.

The intention of packaging plugins as libraries is entirely around making
the users' life less painful. I was reminded of this problem last night,
when I had to compile a 2 year old OS X library because the developer did
not publish the .framework. Unsurprisingly, it failed to build because
Xcode no longer bundles the necessary libraries. Similarly, if I needed to
a use a JPG or MP3 library, I would not want to include the source code in
my project simply because it takes too long to compile (assume it does
compile).

Michael

On Fri, Feb 22, 2013 at 12:38 PM, Marcel Kinard <cmarcelk@gmail.com> wrote:

> 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 requirements/quirks
> - 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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