A command line tool to distribute and package plugins for use with Apache Cordova, nee PhoneGap.
This document defines tool usage and the plugin format specification. This is not an official document of the Apache Cordova project.
- facilitate programmatic installation and manipulation of plugins
- detail the dependencies and components of individual plugins
- allow code reuse between different target platforms
plugman --platform PLATFORM --project PROJECT-PATH --plugin PLUGIN-PATH|PLUGIN-GIT-URL|PLUGIN-NAME
plugman --platform android --project . --plugin ~/plugins/ChildBrowser
plugman --platform PLATFORM --project PROJECT-PATH --plugin PLUGIN-PATH|PLUGIN-GIT-URL|PLUGIN-NAME --remove
plugman --platform android --project . --plugin ~/plugins/ChildBrowser --remove
Andrew Lunny's tamed plugins for ChildBrowser and PGSQLite will work but need to be massaged into the right format.
git clone https://github.com/imhotep/plugman.git cd plugman npm install -g
Plugin Directory Structure
Here is a sample plugin named foo with android and ios platforms support, and 2 www assets.
foo-plugin/ |- plugin.xml # xml-based manifest |- src/ # native source for each platform | |- android/ | | `- Foo.java | `- ios/ | |- CDVFoo.h | `- CDVFoo.m |- README.md `- www/ |- foo.js `- foo.png
plugin.xml Manifest Format
plugin.xml file is an XML document in the plugins namespace -
http://www.phonegap.com/ns/plugins/1.0. It contains a top-level
element defining the plugin, and children that define the structure of the
A sample plugin element:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?> <plugin xmlns="http://www.phonegap.com/ns/plugins/1.0" xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android" id="com.alunny.foo" version="1.0.2">
plugin element is the top-level element of the plugin manifest. It has the
The plugin namespace -
http://www.phonegap.com/ns/plugins/1.0. If the document
contains XML from other namespaces - for example, tags to be added ot the
AndroidManifest.xml file - those namespaces should also be included in the
A reverse-domain style identifier for the plugin - for example,
A version number for the plugin, that matches the following major-minor-patch style regular expression:
The child elements of the
<engines> element specify versions of
Apache Cordova-based frameworks that this plugin supports. An example:
<engines> <engine name="cordova" version="1.7.0" /> <engine name="cordova" version="1.8.1" /> <engine name="worklight" version="1.0.0" /> </engines>
Similarly to the
version attribute for the
the version string specified should match a major-minor-patch string
conforming to the regular expression:
Engine elements may also have fuzzy matches to avoid repetition, and reduce
maintenance when the underlying platform is updated. A minimum of
<= should be supported by tools, such as:
<engines> <engine name="cordova" version=">=1.7.0" /> <engine name="cordova" version="<1.8.1" /> </engines>
plugman will abort plugin installation if the target project does not meet the engine constraints.
A human-readable name for the plugin. The text content of the element contains the name of the plugin. An example:
This element does not yet handle localization.
One or more elements listing the files or directories to be copied into a
www directory. A couple of samples:
<!-- a single file, to be copied in the root directory --> <asset src="www/foo.js" target="foo.js" /> <!-- a directory, also to be copied in the root directory --> <asset src="www/foo" target="foo" />
All assets tags require both a
src attribute and a
Where the file or directory is located in the plugin package, relative to the
Where the file or directory should be located in the Cordova app, relative to
Assets can be targeted to subdirectories - for instance:
<asset src="www/new-foo.js" target="js/experimental/foo.js" />
would create the
js/experimental directory in the
www directory, if not
present, and then copy the file
foo.js into that directory.
If a file exists at the target location, tools based on this specification should stop the installation process and notify the user of the conflict.
Platform tags identify platforms that have associated native code. Tools using this specification can identify supported platforms and install the code into Cordova projects.
A sample platform tag:
<platform name="android"> <!-- android specific elements --> </platform> <platform name="ios"> <!-- ios specific elements --> </platform>
name attribute identifies a platform as supported - it also associates the
element's children with that platform.
Platform names should be all-lowercase. Platform names, as arbitrarily chosen, are listed:
source-file elements identify executable source code that should be installed
into a project. A couple of examples:
<!-- android --> <source-file src="src/android/Foo.java" target-dir="src/com/alunny/foo" /> <!-- ios --> <source-file src="CDVFoo.m" />
As with assets, if a
source-file would overwrite an existing file, tools
should notify the user and stop, like, right away.
Where the file is located, relative to the
A directory where the files should be copied into, relative to the root of the Cordova project.
In practice, this is most important for Java-based platforms, where a file in
com.alunny.foo has be located under the directory
com/alunny/foo. For platforms where the source directory is not important,
plugin authors should omit this attribute.
Identifies an XML-based configuration file to be modified, where in that document the modification should take place, and what should be modified.
At this stage in the spec, the
config-file element only allows for appending
new children into an XML document. The children are XML literals that are the
to be inserted in the target document.
<config-file target="AndroidManifest.xml" parent="/manifest/application"> <activity android:name="com.foo.Foo" android:label="@string/app_name"> <intent-filter> </intent-filter> </activity> </config-file>
The file to be modified, and the path relative to the root of the Cordova project.
If this file does not exist, the tool will exit.
An absolute XPath selector pointing to the parent of the elements to be added to the config file.
This is OUTDATED. Only applies to Cordova 2.2.0 and below). Use <config-file> tag (same as Android) for newer versions of Cordova.
<config-file target="config.xml" parent="/cordova/plugins"> <plugin name="ChildBrowser" value="ChildBrowserCommand"/> </config-file>
Specifies a key and value to append to the correct
AppInfo.plist file in an
iOS Cordova project. Example:
<plugins-plist key="Foo" string="CDVFoo" />
This may be an implementation detail leaking through, and could be merged with
config-file element at some later point.
<resource-file> and <header-file>
Like source files, but specifically for platforms that distinguish between source files, headers, and resources (iOS)
<resource-file src="CDVFoo.bundle" /> <resource-file src="CDVFooViewController.xib" /> <header-file src="CDVFoo.h" />
This is probably an implementation detail leaking through, and future versions
of this document will likely merge these elements with
Identifies a framework (usually part of the OS/platform) that the plugin depends on. Example:
<framework src="libsqlite3.dylib" />
plugman identifies the framework through the
src attribute and attempts to add the framework to the Cordova project, in the correct fashion for a given platform.
In certain cases, a plugin may need to make configuration changes dependent on
the target application. For example, to register for C2DM on Android, an app
with package id
com.alunny.message would need a permission like:
In cases like this (where the content inserted from the
plugin.xml file is
not known ahead of time), variables can be indicated by a dollar-sign and a
series of capital letters, digits and underscores. For the above example, the
plugin.xml file would include this tag:
plugman replaces variable references with the
correct value, if specified, or the empty string otherwise. The value of the
variable reference may be detected (in this case, from the
file, or specified by the user of the tool; the exact process is dependent on
the particular tool.
Certain variable names should be reserved - these are listed below.
The reverse-domain style unique identifier for the package - corresponding to
CFBundleIdentifier on iOS or the
package attribute of the top-level
manifest element in an
Project Directory Structure
TODO: show how the foo plugin example from above will have its files placed in a cordova project after running plugman
- Andrew Lunny
- Fil Maj
- Mike Reinstein
- Anis Kadri