A package management system for iOS
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Vendor – an iOS library management system

Vendor makes the process of using and managing libraries in iOS easy. Vendor leverages the XCode Workspaces feature introduced with XCode 4 and is modeled after Bundler. Vendor streamlines the installation and update process for dependent libraries. It also tracks versions and manages dependencies between libraries.

Step 1) Specify dependencies

Specify your dependencies in a Vendors file in your project’s root.

source "https://github.com/bazaarlabs/vendor"

lib "facebook-ios-sdk"  # Formula specified at source above
lib "three20"
lib "asi-http-request", :git => "https://github.com/pokeb/asi-http-request.git"
lib "JSONKit", :git => "https://github.com/johnezang/JSONKit.git"

Step 2) Install dependencies

vendor install
git add Vendors.lock

Installing a vendor library gets the latest version of the code, and adds the XCode project to the workspace. As part of the installation process, the library is set up as a dependency of the main project, header search paths are modified, and required frameworks are added. The installed version of the library is captured in the Vendors.lock file.

After a fresh check out of a project from source control, the XCode workspace may contain links to projects that don’t exist in the file system because vendor projects are not checked into source control. Run vendor install to restore the vendor projects.

Other commands

Updating all dependencies will update all libraries to their latest versions:

vendor update

Specifying the dependency will cause only the single library to be updated:

vendor update facebook-ios-sdk

Adding a library formula

If a library has no framework dependencies, has no required additional compiler/linker flags, and has an XCode project, it doesn’t require a Vendor formula. An example is JSONKit, which may be specified as below. However, if another Vendor library requires JSONKit, JSONKit must have a Vendor formula.

lib "JSONKit", :git => "https://github.com/johnezang/JSONKit.git"

However, if the library requires frameworks or has dependencies on other Vendor libraries, it must have a Vendor formula. As with Brew, a Vendor formula is some declarative Ruby code that is open source and centrally managed.

An example Vendor formula might look like:

require 'vendor/library'

class Three20 < Vendor::Library
  source "https://github.com/facebook/three20"
  libraries libThree20.a
  frameworks "CoreAnimation"
  header_path "three20/Build/Products/three20"
  linker_flags "ObjC", "all_load"
  vendors "JSONKit"