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From Brian>
Subject Re: Cordova strategy for Hosted Apps
Date Tue, 10 Jun 2014 16:31:07 GMT
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

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 <>

> 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 []
> Sent: Monday, June 9, 2014 3:05 PM
> To:
> 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 <> 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.
> >
> > l
> >
> > Cheers,
> >  Jesse
> >
> >
> > @purplecabbage
> >
> >
> >
> > On Fri, Jun 6, 2014 at 1:02 PM, Jeff Burtoft <>
> 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<>.  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<
> >>> 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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