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From Michal Mocny <>
Subject Re: State of command-line tools
Date Wed, 19 Sep 2012 15:30:23 GMT
On Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 11:16 AM, Mike Reinstein

> > Still, I would also appreciate a formal update
> I'm not sure how to make this formal, but let me outline what I've learned
> so far. I'm very new to the cordova dev community so if I muck up part of
> this, someone chime and correct me. :)
> This may get kind of long but I think it will give a high level overview of
> the state of things, who's involved, what we're working on, etc. One thing
> to note: as it's been pointed out there are a lot of people working on
> this, and it's become a bit fragmented. As a result there's a metric ton of
> links that I could point you at but I wont because you'd tear your hair out
> trying to follow them all, so I'll give you a straight up history. If you
> have more questions follow up and I'll point you at the right places.

This is great, thanks!

> Andrew Lunny seems to have started most of this work. He's developed a
> plugin specification, a 1st attempt at defining a package format that
> plugins will adhere to. It's essentially a directory organized in a certain
> way, containing a plugin.xml with the bulk of the setup directives. Andrew
> also created a tool called *pluginstall* that supports this plugin format
> and supports adding plugins on android and ios.  He created this because
> he's primarily responsible for phonegap build at his day job, the web
> service that allow people to upload an archive and have it build remotely,
> without requiring the hassle of local dev environments being set up.
> So pluginstall has been pulled into cordova command line tools as a low
> level dependency. When the cordova cli does plugin related stuff, it calls
> this tool in the background to handle adding plugins.
> Here is where it gets complicated. :) Andrew built pluginstall, and it
> primarily exists to support phonegap build. He has no problem with it being
> used for cordova as part of our toolsuite, but because his primary concern
> is building/maintaining the pg build site that takes priority. Currently
> he's also just getting back from vacay, and won't be working on pluginsall
> or it's spec for a few weeks because he's also got an upcoming release of
> phonegap build that takes priority. There are a number of things that need
> to be changed in order to build out a more robust cli toolset on our side.
> Just off the top of my head:
> * support for platforms besides ios and android
> * support for OSes besides Mac OS X (the cli tools only run on mac for now)
> * better/more tests
> * someday we will probably want to have a repo so people can
> programmatically install plugins similar to npm

So you cannot programmatically install plugins yet?  Just platforms
(cordova platform add android seems to work) I take it..  So you just
download 3rd party plugins manually then?

> Those are just the high level tasks, as you can imagine the devil is in the
> details and there are 7.8 trillion sub tasks.
> What I've found to be most challenging though, is the dev environment and
> fragmentation. There are 4-6 people involved in the development of this
> tool, with people working in different directions though with a shared
> goal. My first several weeks on this team have largely been playing
> detective, interrogating everyone that seems to have some involvement in
> the plugin feature, looking at docs, and discovering what repos have what
> changes, and the *WHY *behind them. I have like 16 repos on github that I'm
> trying to keep track of that are very similar but differnet. I'm willling
> to bet even as I'm writing this other people have chimed in on the plugin
> topic in this dev thread. :)

Yes, we've all been enjoying the fruits of your labour here.  Thanks so
much for your efforts, they've not gone unnoticed.

Still, we should strive to make this less painless going forward, and since
this seems like a task for more than one person, perhaps we need a "core
working group" and someone to drive the overall communication?

> So that being said, I'm not picking on anyone, we're making good progress.
> But it's definitely frustrating how fragmented and unorganized the work for
> it is. What I'm trying to consolidate the code everyone is working on into
> one repo. I'm tracking the work of @imhotep, @wildabeast, @alunny, @filmaj
> on github, and trying to pull their work into my codebase (while taming the
> frankenstein aspects of bolting together contributions from 5 people.)  My
> hope is that in the next week or so, my code will provide everyone's
> contributions in one place, while at the same time trying to get more
> coordination on how we work and what we're doing so we're not trampling
> each other. That's  my goal anyway. : /


> Anyway, I hope this has been helpful. The biggest challenge is getting more
> organized and not repeating ourselves. I've found from other projects that
> communication tends to be the biggest stumbling block, not the work itself.
> And that experience was with day job, paid full time developers. In this
> open source situation it's like 3X more disconnected. :)

I think this is just a problem of "when everyone is responsible, no one
is".  Thanks for volunteering!

> -Mike

So what are the short term technical tasks that we can assist with?  I
think Braden is interested in contributing here.  Is porting to
linux/windows a first priority?  Setting up an npm repository of plugins?
 Code cleanup, testing, etc?

> On Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 10:50 AM, Brian LeRoux <> wrote:
> > you can also give `npm install -g cordova` a go to see where its at
> >
> > definitely alpha but super promising. =)
> >
> >
> > On Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 4:27 PM, Michal Mocny <>
> wrote:
> > > Take a look at the "plugin tooling/specification" thread, and Mike
> > > Reinstein has been digging around here lately.
> > >
> > > I think also they may have had an irc chat recently on this topic,
> > perhaps
> > > they can report if there were any interesting conclusions.
> > >
> > > Still, I would also appreciate a formal update to see how we can all
> help
> > > out.
> > >
> > > -Michal
> > >
> > >
> > > On Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 10:20 AM, Braden Shepherdson <
> >>wrote:
> > >
> > >> I'm wondering about the state of the command-line tools for Cordova.
> > >>
> > >> Are the current plans and progress so far documented anywhere? If not,
> > >> could someone give an update here?
> > >>
> > >> I'm interested in helping out with that effort, but it's hard to know
> > where
> > >> to start. I understand it had fragmented into several different
> > >> repositories but that someone was working on consolidating it again.
> > >>
> > >> Any information would be welcome.
> > >>
> > >> Braden
> > >>
> >

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