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A vue cli 3.x plugin for NativeScript-Vue
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README.md

nativescript-vue-cli-plugin

Nativescript-Vue Plugin for vue-cli@3.0

This plugin will integrate Nativescript-Vue into new and existing Vue projects. Additionally, it will allow for the choice of developing for Native only environments or Native and Web environments under a single project structure. In addition, choosing to integrate Nativescript-Vue-Web, will allow for the development of Web components with a NativeScript-Vue like syntax that has the benefit of allowing for the sharing of components between the Native and Web sides of the project. This helps reduce the amount of code, maintenence needs, and the amount of time needed for development activities.

Sharing logic in a single Web and Native capable component

The key feature of this plugin is that it will allow you to compose SFC's that contain both Web and Native structures in them. If your component has exactly the same logic (<script> block) but you want different templates for web and native, you can use the special <template web> and <template native>. Also, if you need define different styles you can use <style web> and <style native>.

An example of this would be the following Vue component:

<template web>
  <div class="w-page">
    <div class="w-container">
      <img src="~/assets/logo.png" alt="logo" height="20%" width="20%">
      <HelloWorld :msg="msg"/>
    </div>
  </div>
</template>
<template native>
  <Page>
    <ActionBar :title="navbarTitle"/>
    <GridLayout rows="auto, auto">
      <HelloWorld :msg="msg"/>
    </GridLayout>
  </Page>
</template>
<script>
  import HelloWorld from '~/components/HelloWorld';
  export default {
    components: {
      HelloWorld,
    },
    data() {
      return {
        navbarTitle: `App.${appMode}.vue`,
        msg: `Mode=${appMode} and Platform=${process.env.VUE_APP_PLATFORM}`,
      };
    },
  }
</script>
<style web>
 w-page {
   padding: 1rem;
 }
</style>
<style native>
 ActionBar {
   color: red;
 }
</style>

Optional Separation of concerns for Web and Native SFC's

If you want complete seperation of concerns between Web and Native for components, core logic and styling, you can also provide an alternate file naming scheme in your project. The name will dictate which mode (Web or Native) and platform (Android or IOS) the file will be used with. The same overall schema will work for .vue, .js, .ts, .scss and .css files.

File Type Android and IOS Android only IOS only Web only
vue *.native.vue *.android.vue *.ios.vue *.vue
js *.native.js *.android.js *.ios.js *.js
ts *.native.ts *.android.ts *.ios.ts *.ts
scss *.native.scss *.android.scss *.ios.scss *.scss
css *.native.css *.android.css *.ios.css *.css

Webpack will handle figuring out which files to include based on the npm run command syntax you pass in. You can also mix and match this file naming schema with the web or native tag options mentioned above.

At serve or build in conjunction with the mode such as android or ios, Webpack will filter which files are looked at. For instance, if you do npm run serve:android, then it will look for *.native.vue and *.android.vue files and ignore *.ios.vue files entirely. Conversely, it will do the same when you are working with ios and will ignore *.android.vue files.

This will allow you to develop generic native components under the *.native.vue file extension, but in special cases, it may require you to do platform specific components, core logic and styling. Use the corrosponding file extension to allow this to happen.

If you are building for web, then just *.vue will work and if you are building for a Native only project, then *.vue will work as well as the previous options mentioned.

Sharing components and assets between Native and Web SFC's

If you want to use common components and assets between web, android and ios, you can do that. For assets, place them in src/assets and for components, place them in src/components. At compile time, assets will be copied to the output directory's assets folder and can be universally accessed across environments via something like ~/assets/logo.png. For components, they can be universally accessed via something similar to components/HelloWorld.

Install

If vue-cli 3 is not yet installed, first follow the instructions here: https://github.com/vuejs/vue-cli

Tip: If you don't want to overwrite your current vue-cli 2 setup because you still need vue init, then try this.

Generate a project using vue-cli 3.0

vue create my-app

Before installing the Nativescript-Vue CLI 3 Plugin, make sure to commit or stash changes in case you need to revert.

To install the Nativescript-Vue CLI 3 Plugin...

cd my-app
vue add vue-cli-plugin-nativescript-vue

Invocation Prompts

  1. Enter a unique application identifier
    • Accepting the default is fine for testing
  2. Use HTML5 history mode? (Default: hash mode)
    • Required parameter for the cli core generator when vue-router is used
  3. Is this a brand new project? (Default: Yes)
    • By choosing No, the plugin will try and be as non-destructive as possible to an existing project. It will do this by adding a folder into root named ns-example and add files into there to provide examples of how a project would change.
    • These changes will factor in answers to the other questions and adjust accordingly. Regardless of the answer, the plugin will install packages and adjust package.json as necessary to prep the project.
  4. Dual Native AND Web development experience or a Native only? (Default: Dual)
    • By default, the plugin will assume you want to develop for the Web and Native environments within the same project. As such, there will be two sides to the project where web environments will be actively developed within /src and Native environments will be developed within /app unless you choose to integrate Nativescript-Vue-Web and all files will be placed in /src.
    • Warning: Choosing to develop for Native only will move the main entry point of the project and development folder to /app, it will copy the necessary files and then delete /src.
    • By choosing Dual, you will be able to bring your own component framework into the web portion of the project. NativeScript-Vue cannot use vue-router currently, so you will have to provide your own manual routing. The templated options deployed with the plugin will show how to do basic manual routing.
  5. What type of template do you want to start with? (Default: Simple)
    • Simple is just a simple setup with a header and basic routing.
    • Nativescript-Vue-Web - The Simple template, but with NS-Vue like syntax for web components. This option should only appear if you have chosen to develop in the Dual Web and Native environments. This option will effecively integrate a web component framework that will allow you to develop components that can be used in the Web and Native side of the project. It uses NativeScript-Vue like syntax on components which will allow for the sharing of components between NativeScript and Web.
    • Sidebar (currently disabled), will allow you to start with a project that includes a fixed header and pop-out sidebar menu.
    • We expect to add more templates in the future as use cases come up.

Running the project

You will have several options in serving and building the project:

  1. npm run serve:web
  2. npm run serve:android
  3. npm run serve:ios
  4. npm run build:web
  5. npm run build:android
  6. npm run build:ios

The basic serve and build options should be similar to what is in a CLI 3 project except the added options to dictate which kind of environment you are using: web, android or ios. Please note that when building web projects, they will output to dist and when building native projects, they will output to platforms\android or platforms\ios depending on which you are building at the time.

Debugging your project

You will have the standard options for debugging available to you as you would with just tns. You can do the following to debug Native versions of your app.

  1. npm run debug:android
  2. npm run debug:ios

You should then be able to attach the Chrome debugger as you normally would via the NativeScript docs.

You should also be able to debug directly in VSCode. The NativeScript VSCode Extension docs are a good place to start with understanding how to do this. However, you will need to modify your launch.json file to force tns to work properly with VUE CLI 3.

Your launch.json file should look something like below. Notice the different in the tnsArgs line that is different than what is in the documentation link above.

{
  "version": "0.2.0",
  "configurations": [
    {
      "name": "Launch on iOS",
      "type": "nativescript",
      "request": "launch",
      "platform": "ios",
      "appRoot": "${workspaceRoot}",
      "sourceMaps": true,
      "watch": true,
      "tnsArgs":[" --bundle --env.development cross-env-shell VUE_CLI_MODE=development.ios"]
    },
    {
      "name": "Attach on iOS",
      "type": "nativescript",
      "request": "attach",
      "platform": "ios",
      "appRoot": "${workspaceRoot}",
      "sourceMaps": true,
      "watch": false
    },
    {
      "name": "Launch on Android",
      "type": "nativescript",
      "request": "launch",
      "platform": "android",
      "appRoot": "${workspaceRoot}",
      "sourceMaps": true,
      "watch": true,
      "tnsArgs":[" --bundle --env.development cross-env-shell VUE_CLI_MODE=development.android"]
    },
    {
      "name": "Attach on Android",
      "type": "nativescript",
      "request": "attach",
      "platform": "android",
      "appRoot": "${workspaceRoot}",
      "sourceMaps": true,
      "watch": false
    },
    {
      "type": "chrome",
      "request": "launch",
      "name": "web: chrome",
      "url": "http://localhost:8080",
      "webRoot": "${workspaceFolder}/src",
      "breakOnLoad": true,
      "sourceMapPathOverrides": {
        "webpack:///src/*": "${webRoot}/*"
      }
    },
  ]
}

You will also need to modify your vue.config.js file to include a webpack-chain statement that will setup your source map. It should look something like this:

module.exports = {
  chainWebpack: config => {
    config
      .devtool('inline-source-map')
  }
}

Previewing your Project

You should be able to use the NativeScript Playground and Preview Apps via the following npm statements:

  1. npm run preview:android
  2. npm run preview:ios

--env command line recognition

Basic support for passing the env command line option is in place, but has a slightly different syntax since we're working with the CLI 3 webpack infrastructure. To inject items into env at run-time, you will need to add -- --env.option Where option is one of the recognized options that Nativescript-Vue and this project supports. An example of this would be something like this: npm run serve:android -- --env.production. This would allow you to serve up a Production build of your Android app versus just running npm run serve:android which would serve a Development version of the same.

Webpack related information

The options passed in at npm run will dictate what webpack config is provided. The first choice webpack will make is if this is a web or native environment. Then, if it's a native environment, it will determine choices to be made between ios and android.

Each time the project is built or served, the plugin will copy the latest webpack config from the cli to the root of your project. When you build a project, it will clean-up this file at the end, but just serving the project will not. This is an issue with nativescript-dev-webpack and cannot be overcome at this time.

Inspecting the Webpack config

If you'd like to see what the webpack config is doing then you can run one of the following:

  1. vue inspect -- --env.android > out-android.js
  2. vue inspect -- --env.ios > out-ios.js
  3. vue inspect -- --env.web > out-web.js

These will default to showing you the Development version of the webpack config. You can pass in the -- --env.production option to see the Production version of the config. Subtitute development.android or production.ios, etc to see the different configs based on the environmental variables.

Aliases

Prebuilt in the webpack config are several aliases that you can use. Here is a table listing out the various alias and the folder they use based on the environment chosen:

Alias Native Web
~ /app /src
@ /app /src
src /src /src
assets /src/assets /src/assets
components /src/components /src/components
fonts /src/fonts /src/fonts
styles /src/styles /src/styles
root / /

For TypeScript enabled projects

If your CLI 3 project has TypeScript enabled, then the plugin will attempt to give you a very basic TypeScript version of the template you choose. When you invoke the plugin and the template generator makes changes, you will notice the *.d.ts files that are usually in src will be moved to /types. The plugin's webpack integration will ensure these files are referenced correctly at compile and runtimes.

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