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From Jeff Burtoft <jeffb...@microsoft.com>
Subject RE: Cordova strategy for Hosted Apps
Date Tue, 17 Jun 2014 01:28:01 GMT
The origin of the question... I'm trying to figure out where an investment makes the most sense.

-----Original Message-----
From: brian.leroux@gmail.com [mailto:brian.leroux@gmail.com] On Behalf Of Brian LeRoux
Sent: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 11:31 AM
To: dev@cordova.apache.org
Subject: Re: Cordova strategy for Hosted Apps

Well, here's what we know. Most developers use Chrome Devtools, Webkit Inspector, IE Developer
Tools, and, increasingly, Firefox Devtools to build their apps. They treat Cordova less as
an authoring env and more as a publishing step to test/qa. This is an important distinction
to acknowledge.

Anything we can do as a project to reduce friction in the authoring experience is good for
our developer community and Cordova. The team I'm with is on board with this mission and we
are working towards it.

So why aren't we working on it? Well, we are. But not directly. We ran into architectural
issues with the generated cordova.js code that needed attention first. (Its too big and not
really friendly to good web publishing practices.) We're close to addressing that but it will
require a great deal of testing. With cordova.js cleaned up we'll be revisiting our tooling
to abstract out common functionality. Creating a project, for example, requires the entire
cordova-lib so we need to refactor that stuff out, so we can ultimately create the smallest,
most isolated, discreet, and intelligent builds for the browser possible.

The project that started Cordova had a stated goal to enable web development. I view the 'browser
as a platform' as work towards that original goal. I can't speak to Cordova project strategy
overall, no one can, but I can advocate a direction where we make publishing to the web a
seamless and supported part of the Cordova workflow. If you want an idea to succeed in open
source ultimately you'll have to sponsor some sort of development so hopefully Microsoft agrees.
=)




On Tue, Jun 10, 2014 at 8:38 AM, Jeff Burtoft <jeffburt@microsoft.com>
wrote:

> My hesitation with integrating with Cordova for the pure hosted app 
> solution is that it seems like there are a lot of work-arounds (and 
> not supported on some platforms like windows 8) to make it happen.  My 
> fear is that as Cordova continues to mature, the hosted app solution 
> may get even less support.  That's why I'm wondering if it is 
> officially part of the strategy.  What are your thoughts on this?
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Marcel Kinard [mailto:cmarcelk@gmail.com]
> Sent: Monday, June 9, 2014 3:05 PM
> To: dev@cordova.apache.org
> Subject: Re: Cordova strategy for Hosted Apps
>
> To elaborate a bit more on #1, I've seen issues where the cordova.js 
> in the hosted content gets out-of-sync with the native Cordova runtime 
> installed on the device. Weird behavior can ensue when there are 
> changes across Cordova versions in the js-native interactions. One 
> brute-force way to deal with this would be to locally inspect the 
> version of the native Cordova runtime, and ask the remote server to 
> serve up the matching version of cordova.js.  The folks writing hosted 
> apps like this don't see this design wrinkle until they are debugging weird behavior.
>
> On Jun 6, 2014, at 4:24 PM, Jesse <purplecabbage@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> > Hi Jeff,
> >
> > 1. Currently (out of the box) you can load the start page from the 
> > network or the device file system.  However, you need to be aware of 
> > both CORS issues as well as App store policies which may make this 
> > approach un-submittable [1] . You can achieve this either by setting 
> > the <content src=''/> in your config.xml file, or by redirecting 
> > from the index.html that is packaged with your app.  The latter 
> > approach allows you to respond to no-network issues, which you must 
> > do in mobile anyway.  cordova.js will need to live with your server 
> > pages, and any plugins, and cordova_plugins.js and all plugin files 
> > must match the versions of the native implementation that is 
> > compiled in the
> app.
> >
> > 2. Yes, it is a great way of testing, as you can skip the whole 
> > build, and just reload. If the app should function with/without the 
> > feature, then yes, it should detect it.
> >
> > 3. Similar to what you describe in  #2, for targeting browsers
> generically.
> >
> > [1]
> > 2.12 Apps that are not very useful, unique, are simply web sites 
> > bundled as Apps, or do not provide any lasting entertainment value 
> > may
> be rejected.
> > https://developer.apple.com/appstore/resources/approval/guidelines.h
> > tm
> > l
> >
> > Cheers,
> >  Jesse
> >
> >
> > @purplecabbage
> > risingj.com
> >
> >
> > On Fri, Jun 6, 2014 at 1:02 PM, Jeff Burtoft 
> > <jeffburt@microsoft.com>
> wrote:
> >
> >> I have a tool that allows developers to take their web apps and 
> >> build them into hosted store apps on Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 
> >> (8 and
> >> 8.1) called the Web App Template<https://wat.codeplex.com/>.  Some 
> >> of the developers who are using the tool would like to see it go 
> >> cross platform to Android and iOS, so that the same config file 
> >> could be used to build hosted apps for the play store and App store 
> >> just as it
> is on Windows.
> >> I love the idea of going cross platform, and when I think cross 
> >> platform, I think Cordova, but after looking through some of the 
> >> documentation, I'm not sure if it's a good fit.  I'm looking for 
> >> some direction on these
> >> questions:
> >>
> >> 1.       Does Cordova have "hosted apps" (where the content lives on the
> >> server as opposed to being packaged with the app) in its roadmap?  
> >> I realize you can do this today on most platforms with a redirect, 
> >> but it seems to be more of a work around rather than a strategy.
> >>
> >> 2.       Does it make sense to make Cordova device APIs available to
> >> hosted apps?  In general these apps also must function in a browser 
> >> , so the features would have to be implemented in a progressive 
> >> enhancement model.
> >>
> >> 3.       I see a build for Browser<
> >> https://github.com/apache/cordova-browser> on the Cordova website.
> >> What are the plans for this build?
> >>
> >>
> >> Can anyone help clarify some of this?
> >>
> >> Thanks,
> >> Jeff Burtoft
> >> --------
> >> HTML5 Evangelist \\ Web Technologies \\ Microsoft
> >> --------
> >>
> >>
>
>
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