A CocoaPods plugin for hot-patching React Native per-version
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README.md

Hi there! This a CocoaPods plugin that we, the community, can use to plug the holes in React Native's CocoaPods support.

CocoaPods allows you to add code to run before and at the end of the Podfile via installation hooks. You probably already have some custom code in there. This plugin allows all that code to be centralized and reasoned about in a single place per React Native version.

Why Does This Need To Exist?

React Native is a pragmatic project, it's great Facebook open sources it, but if you want to work with a flow they don't use - the onus is on you to make sure it continues to work. Facebook have a big mono-repo, and so they don't need to use CocoaPods, and they also use static compilation because they don't use Swift. Meaning if you want to use CocoaPods and Swift, you're pretty far from their workflow.

In order to get it working for just your app you scour, like, a million issues on React Native (or go look at artsy/eigen) to get it compiling on your setup. Again, not optimal.

This plugin tries to fix this by centralizing the code needed to modify React Native. This means makes it easy to update your versions of React Native, because you can update the gem at the same time.

Installation

Lazy way (bad, but ok if 1 engineer):

$ gem install cocoapods-fix-react-native

Correct way, edit your Gemfile to be:

gem "cocoapods"
gem "cocoapods-fix-react-native"

Then remove any React Native related pre_install and post_install code, and add this to the top level of your Podfile:

plugin 'cocoapods-fix-react-native'

For the first time you do this, I'd recommend running rm -rf Pods; bundle exec pod install. After that you can bundle exec pod install like normal.

How do I Update This?

bundle update cocoapods-fix-react-native

This project is auto-deployed after every merged PR, so it's should always be up-to-date.

How Does This Work?

A CocoaPods plugin can register hooks before and after installation, just like you can in your Podfile. This hook will first look at what version of React Native is installed, and will then run a corresponding scripts to make changes to the environment.

Custom React Native Root Directory

To set a custom React Native root directory for dev an environment variable COCOAPODS_FIX_REACT_NATIVE_DEV_ROOT may be set. Example:

# Some shell script that sets up environment variables
export COCOAPODS_FIX_REACT_NATIVE_DEV_ROOT="../my_react_project_directory/node_modules/react-native"

Contributing Back

You'll note that this repo has issues disabled, I'm not going to make the time to support questions and requests for fixes to this. I have a lot of projects, and only so much time. However, I'm happy to handle the mainainance and upkeep from code people submit. If you want a change, you'll need to do so yourself, so let's cover how you do that:

This project is very specific about what versions of React Native it supports, you can see them in the folder lib/cocoapods-fix-react-native/versions/:

~/dev/projects/react-native/cocoapods-fix-react-native master*
❯ tree lib/cocoapods-fix-react-native/versions/
lib/cocoapods-fix-react-native/versions/
└── 0_54_4-post.rb

There's likely more than just one by the time you read this, but if you want to use a version that isn't supported yet, then you're going to want to copy the most recent into a new file. The files are named by converting dots to underscores. E.g. 0.54.4 -> 0_54_4-pre.rb/0_54_4-post.rb.

The scripts itself should be entirely self contained, so that it's easy to understand without learning the project.

The biggest change you'd need to make from the sort of code you can find inside the issues is that it needs to support many different potential roots. So instead of just Pods/React/* - this plugin will also handle node_modules/react-native/* and ../node_modules/react-native/*. Basically, your dev repo, and your prod app.

This can be done by removing 'Pods/React' from the path and wrapping it with a File.join($root, 'Path/InReactLib.js'). You'll see this in the current scripts.

Getting Setup To Improve

Clone this repo:

git clone https://github.com/orta/cocoapods-fix-react-native
cd cocoapods-fix-react-native
bundle install

You want to use a :path based gem in your project's Gemfile to point to the cloned repo. Make you to your App's Gemfile something like this:

gem 'cocoapods', '~> 1.4.0'
gem 'cocoapods-fix-react-native', path: "../../../../react-native/cocoapods-fix-react-native"

Then when you run bundle exec pod install in that project, it will use the the code from your cloned copy.

As use_frameworks! is more strict than static libraries, I'd recommend working on this project using a repo that has frameworks.