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Sample/SampleApp
WormHoleSharp
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LICENSE Initial Port Jan 19, 2015
MMWormhole.gif
README.md
WormHoleSharp.sln

README.md

Wormhole

This is a c# port of https://github.com/mutualmobile/MMWormhole

Wormhole creates a bridge between an iOS extension and its containing application. The wormhole is meant to be used to pass data or commands back and forth between the two locations. Messages are archived to files which are written to the application's shared App Group. The effect closely resembles interprocess communication between the app and the extension, though true interprocess communication does not exist between extensions and containing apps.

The wormhole also supports CFNotificationCenter Darwin Notifications in an effort to support realtime change notifications. When a message is passed to the wormhole, interested parties can listen and be notified of these changes on either side of the wormhole. The effect is nearly instant updates on either side when a message is sent through the wormhole.

It currently requires Json.Net for nice object serialization. Feel free to swap it out with something else. It is only 3 lines of code to change.

Example App

Example

wormHole.PassMessage ("ButtonMessage", new ButtonMessage{ Id =  1 });

wormHole.ListenForMessage<ButtonMessage> ("ButtonMessage", (message) => {
		ButtonLabel.Text = ButtonMessage.Id.ToString();
	});

Getting Started

Note

The Wormhole Example app will only work with your shared App Group identifiers and Entitlements and is meant purely for reference


Overview

Wormhole is designed to make it easy to share very basic information and commands between an extension and it's containing application. The wormhole should remain stable whether the containing app is running or not, but notifications will only be triggered in the containing app if the app is awake in the background. This makes Wormhole ideal for cases where the containing app is already running via some form of background modes.

A good way to think of the wormhole is a collection of shared mailboxes. An identifier is essentially a unique mailbox you can send messages to. You know where a message will be delivered to because of the identifier you associate with it, but not necessarily when the message will be picked up by the recipient. If the app or extension are in the background, they may not receive the message immediately. By convention, sending messages should be done from one side to another, not necessarily from yourself to yourself. It's also a good practice to check the contents of your mailbox when your app or extension wakes up, in case any messages have been left there while you were away.

WormholeSharp uses Json.Net as a serialization medium, so any object that is serializavle can work as a message. For many apps, sharing simple strings, numbers, or JSON objects is sufficient to drive the UI of a Widget or Apple Watch app. Messages can be sent and persisted easily as archive files and read later when the app or extension is woken up later.

Using Wormhole is extremely straightforward. The only real catch is that your app and it's extensions must support shared app groups. The group will be used for writing the archive files that represent each message. While larger files and structures, including a whole Core Data database, can be shared using App Groups, Wormhole is designed to use it's own directory simply to pass messages. Because of that, a best practice is to initialize Wormhole with a directory name that it will use within your app's shared App Group.

Initialization

Initialize Wormhole with your App Group identifier and an optional directory name

wormHole = new Wormhole ("group.com.clancey.wormhole", "messageDir");

Passing a Message

Pass a message with an any jSon serializable object

wormHole.PassMessage ("ButtonMessage", new ButtonMessage{ Id =  1 });

Reading a Message

You have two options for reading a message. You can obtain the message for an identifier at any time by asking the wormhole for the message.

var message = wormHole.MessageWithIdentifier<string> ("watchButton")

You can also listen for changes to that message and be notified when that message is updated.

wormHole.ListenForMessage<string> ("watchButton", (message) => {
				//Do something
			});

Designing Your Communication Scheme

You can think of message passing between apps and extensions sort of like a web service. The web service has endpoints that you can read and write. The message identifiers for your Wormhole messages can be thought of in much the same way. A great practice is to design very clear message identifiers so that you immediately know when reading your code who sent the message and why, and what the possible contents of the message might be. Just like you would design a web service with clear semantics, you should do the same with your wormhole messaging scheme.

Requirements

Wormhole requires iOS 7.0 or higher.

Credits

MMWormhole was created by Conrad Stoll at Mutual Mobile.

Credit also to Wade Spires, Tom Harrington, and Rene Cacheaux for work and inspiration surrounding notifications between the containing app and it's extensions.

James Clancey for the C# Port

License

Wormhole is available under the MIT license. See the LICENSE file for more info.