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From Sidney Bofah <>
Subject Re: [iOS] Converting to use Xcode Workspaces (in cordova-ios 4.x)
Date Wed, 01 Apr 2015 01:28:39 GMT
Hi Shaz,

i take my hat off your efforts and initial analysis - after initial “if it isn’t broken…”-based
doubts, i now also think migrating
the iOS Cordova template structure to XCode workspaces is the best longterm approach.

Addendum to your analysis:
iOS “.frameworks" are not restricted to iOS 8+ per se, only _dynamic_ frameworks (dylibs)
are. That is, _static_ frameworks can
be bundled since i-don’t-know-when. From a workflow perspective it used to be tedious though,
as one needs to build for ARM
and simulator, then merge the resulting Mach-O executables via the lipo CLI, etc. - but in
XCode 6, Apple made this easier by
providing a template for this (and there were third party framework templates as well).

Based on these experiences, I created a workflow for myself to get from a popular iOS cocoa
control to a Cordova plugin in less
than a day (for a simple framework with a few methods to expose via CDVPlugin). As we all
know, Plugman has been supporting
custom frameworks for a while, and can then copy to the platform folders and reference those
files, which works flawlessly.
Attached my repo links [1], i’d be glad to assist with any questions if that’s useful
for the .xcworkspace migration process.

Best regards,


> On 01 Apr 2015, at 02:41, Shazron <> wrote:
> I took it onto myself to create a proof of concept on how this could
> work. Check out the README for the conversion details:
> TLDR; The essence of it is:
> 1. There is a workspace that contains: CordovaLib, the user's project,
> and N plugin framework projects
> 2. CordovaLib is no longer a subproject of the user's project
> 3. CordovaLib contains a target that will create a Cordova.framework
> 4. Plugins are iOS Framework projects (adding a plugin requires adding
> an xml line in xcworkspace, and framework refs in the user's project )
> 5. Plugin JS is still installed by the CLI unless we find an alternative method
> 6. The CLI needs to be changed to do (4)
> Implementation details are in the README referenced above.
> This makes it all modular especially the plugins. Plugins are
> frameworks instead of static libraries because some plugins contain
> resource bundles that need to be included, and frameworks provide this
> functionality. Workspaces have been there since Xcode 4, and are used
> by a bunch of other package managers (Cococapods), it will be good to
> work well with other packaging systems if we can. Also, plugin
> installation is simplified.
> Cordova is a framework so there will be no duplicate symbol problem
> when linking a plugin into the user's project.
> 1. I haven't tested this on iOS 7 devices yet though (since iOS
> frameworks are iOS 8 only -- but they should still work if weak
> linked), I'll have to find a device and report back.
> 2. cordova-cli platform version issues: if cordova-ios 4.x supports
> workspaces, and you are on a cordova-cli that doesn't know about the
> new template format (but you installed the new platform anyway), it
> won't work
> Send me your comments, ideas, etc...
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