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From Tim Kim <>
Subject Re: Engines and plugins
Date Tue, 14 Jan 2014 21:27:10 GMT

I think there are too many "default engines" defined.
> for instance
>   <engine name="cordova-android" version=">=1.8.0" />
> is essentially the same as
>   <engine name="cordova" version=">=1.8.0" platform="android" />
> Could someone remind the reason for having platform specific default
> engine names? If
> they exist for a historic reason can we remove it from the documentation
> and guide people to use the platform attribute?

The main reasoning for the default engines (ie, cordova-android,
cordova-ios, etc) was the ability to have the plugin be able to install on
different versions of a particular platform. For example, say your project
is deployed on both iOS and android with your own custom plugin. However,
if the case should arise where your custom plugin only works on say 3.3.0
of android but up to 3.2.0 on iOS then you'll be able to define it with
something like:

 <engine name="cordova-android" version="3.3.0" />
 <engine name="cordova-ios" version="3.2.0" />

As for the regular Cordova engine, that one is basically a shortcut. It
basically says you don't really care about knowing which particular
platform you want to install on but that platform needs to be of some
version of Cordova that a user specifies.

And specifying custom Apache Cordova-based frameworks is a different
> beast altogether. It actually gives the responsibility to integrate a
> custom engine with plugman to the plug-ins with the scriptSrc attribute.
> I do not think this will scale considering that the engine and plug-in
> ideally have a different life cycle. I think plugman should actually
> provide a way for custom engines to provide this information.

I guess the scriptSrc wasn't the most ideal way of doing this, but I wasn't
too sure how custom engines were being used at that point. So I left it as
the responsibility of the to the custom engine.

I hope that helps!

On 14 January 2014 08:56, Marcel Kinard <> wrote:

> Sounds like the ouput of this "how it works" should go in cordova-docs. If
> it's not clear to us, then it won't be clear to users. ;-)
> On Jan 13, 2014, at 9:36 PM, Andrew Grieve <> wrote:
> > On Mon, Jan 13, 2014 at 6:14 PM, Gorkem Ercan <>
> wrote:
> >> On Mon, Jan 13, 2014 at 04:32:20PM -0500, Andrew Grieve wrote:
> >>> FYI to others - the docs for this is found here (seems to have some
> >>> incorrectly formatted markdown too :( ) :
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> My understanding was that:
> >>> <engine name="cordova-android" version=">=1.8.0" />
> >>> is the same as:
> >>> <engine name="cordova-android" version=">=1.8.0" platform="android"
> >>> not:
> >>> <engine name="cordova" version=">=1.8.0" platform="android" />
> >>
> >> What is actually different here? I know the implementation assumes all
> >> platforms when it sees cordova but it does not have to, it could just
> >> look take platform attribute into account. I am just
> >> trying to understand the reasons for the cordova-${platform} engine
> >> names.
> >
> > The difference is name="cordova-android" vs name="cordova".
> >
> > Not positive, but I think:
> > cordova-android refers to the version of the cordova-android repo that
> > you're using.
> > cordova refers to the cadence version of cordova that you're using
> > (version of CLI tools or version of cordova-js)

Timothy Kim

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