Saturday, August 1, 2015

Cordova 5 what a PhoneGap developer needs to know

     A complete change this Cordova 5 for a PhoneGap  developer


Apache Cordova is an open-source mobile development framework. It allows the PhoneGap developer (or Cordova developer) to use standard web technologies such as JavaScript for cross-platform development, avoiding each mobile platforms' native development language. Applications execute within wrappers targeted to each platform, and rely on standards-compliant API bindings to access each device's sensors, data, and network status.

Apache Cordova graduated in October 2012 as a top level project within the Apache Software Foundation (ASF). Through the ASF, future Cordova development will ensure open stewardship of the project. It will always remain free and open source under the Apache License, Version 2.0. Visit cordova.apache.org for more information.

Cross-platform (CLI) workflow
Use this workflow if you want your app to run on as many different mobile operating systems as possible, with little need for platform-specific development. This workflow centers around the cordova utility, otherwise known as the Cordova CLI, that was introduced with Cordova 3.0. The CLI is a high-level tool that allows you to build projects for many platforms at once, abstracting away much of the functionality of lower-level shell scripts. The CLI copies a common set of web assets into subdirectories for each mobile platform, makes any necessary configuration changes for each, runs build scripts to generate application binaries. The CLI also provides a common interface to apply plugins to your app. For more details on the CLI, see The Command-Line Interface. Unless you, the PhoneGap developer have a need for the platform-centered workflow, the cross-platform workflow is recommended.

Release highlights a PhoneGap developer needs to know:

Plugins have been renamed and the Cordova-CLI now supports fetching plugins from npm. We highly recommend reading about it in the plugins release blog post.<feature> tags have been renamed to <plugin> tags in your projects config.xml. Adding a <plugin> tag to your config.xml will fetch and install it on cordova prepareif it isn’t already installed.

Cordova Android@4.0.0 has been released and pinned as the default version for new projects. This includes support for pluggable WebViews! Read about it in the Android 4.0.0 release blog post.
  • Template app, Cordova App Hello World, has been moved to npm.
  • Added the ability to manage your plugin and platform dependencies in your project’sconfig.xml. When adding plugins or platforms, use the --save flag to add them toconfig.xml. Ex: cordova platform add android --save. Existing projects can usecordova plugin save and cordova platform save commands to save all previously installed plugins and platforms into your project’s config.xml. Platforms and plugins will be auto restored when cordova prepare is run. This allows developers to easily manage and share their dependencies among different PhoneGap development environments and with their coworkers.
  • The whitelist plugin and its security ramifications-the need to specify all external sources.Sample tags  Access to all the subdomains on google.com, for example mail.google.com and docs.google.com:
  • origin="http://*.google.com" />
  • CSP  the Content Security policy and the meta tag ( as per MozillaContent Security Policy (CSP) is an added layer of security that helps to detect and mitigate certain types of attacks, including Cross Site Scripting (XSS) and data injection attacks. These attacks are used for everything from data theft to site defacement or distribution of malware.Sample meta tag being:-
  •     
  •       content="default-src *;
  •                script-src * 'unsafe-inline' 'unsafe-eval'
  •                            127.0.0.1:*
  •   http://*.google.com
  •   https://*.google.com
  •                            http://*.gstatic.com
  •                            http://*.googleapis.com
  •                            https://*.gstatic.com
  •                            https://*.googleapis.com
  •     http://www.webprogr.com
  •             http://*.revmob.com
  •                            ;
  •                style-src  * 'unsafe-inline'
  •                            127.0.0.1
  •   http://*.google.com
  •   https://*.google.com
  •                            http://*.gstatic.com
  •                            http://*.googleapis.com
  •                            https://*.gstatic.com
  •                            https://*.googleapis
  •     http://www.webprogr.com
  •    https://*.revmob.com
  • ;
  • frame-src  *
  • "
  • >
The best way to debug continue to be Android Studio's monitor.bat but the earlier nice tag usage adb logcat CordovaLog:D *:S no longer works as they have replaced CordovaLog with 'Web Console' and these two words(why?) cause problem with grep.

The main problem is that not all plugins have been updated especially advertising,billing, Google analytics etc. And the PhoneGap developer would be at his wits end as Android Studio would refuse to compile what with the shenanigans of the constantly revised Google Play services versions!

Of course things are improving very fast daily with the smart people at Adobe, Apache, IBM and Google at work on the framework.

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