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README.md

What is this?

This extension for Chrome automatically reloads unpacked extensions whenever a file change event is fired. You'll never need to go to chrome://extensions and smash reload again. See Emitting File Change Events below to learn how to trigger trigger a file change event in your development builds.

How does it work?

Extension tries to connect to socket.io server on http://localhost:8890 (yes, that port is random) and waits for file.change events to flow in. When an event is incoming, the extension reloads chrome://extensions automatically, which causes all unpacked extensions to reload and update (e.g. content scripts). If there is no open tab, currently opened at chrome://extensions, the extension creates and reloads one.

An example on how to send file change events to the extension can be found in Emitting File Change Events below.

There are two supported reload methods ("page" and "api"), each with their strengths and weaknesses. The default is "page", but it can be changed in the options page for this extension.

Page Method

Reloads chrome://extensions page, which reloads background scripts without closing open background inspect windows, but does not reload content scripts.

API Method

Uses a Chrome API to reload extensions directly, which reloads background scripts and closes any open background inspect windows, but does reload content scripts.

Installation & Usage

Install this extension from the webstore or:

  1. Clone this repo
  2. Run the build as described in Development below
  3. Load build folder as unpacked extension in Chrome

... then start developing an unpacked extension and emit file change events in your extension as described below

Emitting File Change Events

You will need to have a background task running to emit file change events whenever a file in the extension you are developing locally changes. This requires that you have NodeJS installed on your machine.

  1. Install gulp globally so that it's easy to call by running the following from your command line interface in the root of your project:
npm i gulp -g
  1. Install required dependencies:
npm i gulp, gulp-watch, socket.io -D

This will add the three required modules into the devDependencies of your package.json file.

  1. Create a file called gulpfile.js in the root of your project containing the following:
var gulp = require('gulp');;
var watch = require('gulp-watch');
var io = require('socket.io');

gulp.task('chrome-watch', function () {
     var WEB_SOCKET_PORT = 8890;
     io = io.listen(WEB_SOCKET_PORT);
     watch('**/*.*', function(file) {
       console.log('change detected', file.relative);
       io.emit('file.change', {});
     });
});
  1. Run the file change watcher from your command line:
gulp chrome-watch

This will launch a process that emits a file.change event over socket.io whenever a file in your project is changes.

Note: You can use the code above as a guide when modifying your existing watch method if you already have one, or if you're using another build tool like grunt.

Issues and Feature requests

https://github.com/robin-drexler/chrome-extension-auto-reload/issues

Development

To hack this code, make sure you have NodeJS installed, then navigate to the root of this project in your command line interface and run the following to install all dependencies:

npm install

Generate a build/ folder which can be loaded into Chrome as an unpacked extension:

npm run build

Automatically rebuild modified files into build/ when they're saved:

npm run watch

Generate dist/chrome-extension.zip, which can be uploaded to the Chrom web store:

npm run dist

Contributors

This extension was originally developed by robin-drexler.

Updates by JeromeDane to add alternate reload method using arikw's code. Added gulp build process and removed socket.io-client code from repo so it could be loaded as a dependency instead.

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