MCA TDigital HyBridge
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README.md

Hybridge

Yet another javascript / mobile native simple bridge for hybrid apps, back and forth...

Index

  1. Why?
  2. Installation
  3. Usage
  4. Native Events
  5. Javascript API
  6. Debug
  7. Custom Errors
  8. Demos
  9. License

Why?

When developing hybrid apps surely you'll need to access different native features and resources. Out there are plenty of bridge solutions. Hybridge tries to make easy communication and data exchanging between native (iOS & Android) and Javascript worlds, avoiding too much overhead.

[⬆]

Installation

Hybridge follows semantic versioning. In the boilerplate directory you can find examples of how to get running in the different platforms.

Javascript

Since v1.2.0, hybridge is available in bower. Bower will install hybridge itself and all its dependencies.

bower install --save hybridge

Add it to your HTML

<script type="text/javascript" src="bower_components/hybridge/js/hybridge.js"></script>

You can manually download the javascript js/hybridge.js and use the traditional way.

Hybridge works in both an AMD/Vanilla javascript fashion. For vanilla javascript, it's available in window.Hybridge variable. You'll also need JQuery (version 1.8.3 or newer) for the Javascript part since Deferred object is used intensively.

Android

You can build your own Hybridge, but you can start with the latest version included at hybridge.jar in the boilerplate code.

iOS

Add the following to your Podfile and run $ pod install.

pod 'Hybridge'

If you don't have CocoaPods installed or integrated into your project, you can learn how to do so here.

[⬆]

Usage

There are two ways of communication between native and Javascript. This is implemented in a different way in Android and iOS, but the Javascript part is just the same in both environments:

  • Hybridge uses actions as native tasks that you want to be done when requested from Javascript while sending JSON data in the request and getting a JSON in response.

  • Native Hybridge part can trigger native events and send attached JSON data to Javascript when needed.

Javascript

Load hybridge.js as a module in your AMD code. Simplest setup:

  <script src="js/require.js"></script>
  <script>
  require.config({
      baseUrl: 'js/lib',
      paths: {
        jquery: 'bower_components/jquery/dist/jquery',
        hybridge: 'bower_components/hybridge/js/hybridge'
      }
  });

  require(['hybridge'], function (Hybridge) {
      Hybridge.init({
        'environment' : 'ios'
        }
      });
    });
  </script>

An hypothetical download action defined in native could be easily invoked from Javascript:

Hybridge.send({'action' : 'download', 'url' : 'http://...'})

And you'll receive a Javascript Promise in response to process in your callback function:

Hybridge.send({'action' : 'gpsposition'}).done(updateMap);

[⬆]

Android

  • Compile the sources and copy hybridge.jar with your proyect libs dependencies. Alternatively, you can set the Hybridge project as an Android library dependency.

  • Create your own actions by implementing the interface JsAction as an Enum. Hybridge will handle this actions inside a Enum listing actions as AsyncTask each one:

public enum JsActionImpl implements JsAction {

    DOWNLOAD(DownloadTask.class),
    GPSPOSITION(GPSPositionTask.class),
    CALLCONTACT(CallContactTask.class);

    private Class task;

    private JsActionImpl(Class task) {
        this.setTask(task);
    }

    @Override
    public Class getTask() {
        return task;
    }

    @Override
    public void setTask(Class task) {
        this.task = task;
    }
...
}
public class DownloadTask extends AsyncTask<Object, Void, JSONObject> {

    private JsPromptResult result;
    private Context context;
    private HybridgeBroadcaster hybridge;

    public DownloadTask(Context context) {
        this.context = context;
    }

    @Override
    protected JSONObject doInBackground(Object... params) {
        JSONObject json = (JSONObject) params[0];
        result = (JsPromptResult) params[1];
        hybridge = (HybridgeBroadcaster) params[2];
        // Process download
        ...
        return json;
    }
...
}
  • Use HybridgeWebChromeClient and HybridgeWebViewClient in your WebView with the Enum values of your actions implementation as the constructor parameter:
webView.setWebViewClient(new HybridgeWebViewClient(JsActionImpl.values()));
webView.setWebChromeClient(new HybridgeWebChromeClient(JsActionImpl.values()));
  • Implement Observable in your WebView fragment and subscribe it in order to notificate Javascript the events received from HybridgeBroadcaster:
HybridgeBroadcaster.getInstance(mWebView).addObserver(this);
...
@Override
public void update(Observable observable, Object data) {
    JSONObject json = (JSONObject) data;
    if (json.has(HybridgeConst.EVENT_NAME)) {
        try {
            HybridgeBroadcaster.getInstance(mWebView).fireJavascriptEvent(mWebView, (Event) json.get(HybridgeConst.EVENT_NAME), json);
        } catch (JSONException e) {
            Log.e(mTag, "Problem with JSON object " + e.getMessage());
        }
    } else {
        HybridgeBroadcaster.getInstance(mWebView).fireMessage(mWebView, json);
    }
}

[⬆]

iOS

Creating a Web View Controller

Hybridge provides HYBWebViewController, a convenience view controller that hosts both a web view and a bridge object to communicate with it. Users are encouraged to subclass HYBWebViewController and specify any supported bridge actions.

#import <Hybridge/Hybridge.h>

@interface MyWebViewController : HYBWebViewController
@end
...
- (NSArray *)bridgeActions:(HYBBridge *)bridge {
    return @[@"some_action", @"some_other_action"];
}

There are two different ways to handle bridge actions:

  1. Override -bridgeDidReceiveAction:data:
- (NSDictionary *)bridgeDidReceiveAction:(NSString *)action data:(NSDictionary *)data {
    if ([action isEqualToString:@"some_action"]) {
        // Handle 'some_action'
    } else if ([action isEqualToString:@"some_other_action"]) {
        // Handle 'some_other_action'
    }

    // Return a JSON dictionary or `nil`
    return nil;
}
  1. Implement a method with a special signature for each supported action. The bridge will look for methods with the signature - (NSDictionary *)handle<YourActionInCamelCase>WithData:(NSDictionary *)data
- (NSDictionary *)handleSomeActionWithData:(NSDictionary *)data {
    // Handle 'some_action'
    return @{ @"foo": @"bar" };
}

- (NSDictionary *)handleSomeOtherActionWithData:(NSDictionary *)data {
    // Handle 'some_other_action'
    return nil;
}

Note the CamelCase in the method signature. If your action is named some_action, this becomes SomeAction in the method signature.

[⬆]

Boilerplate

The fastest track to start using Hybridge is use the Boilerplate.

Firstly, You'll need a local server running in you development environment to load initially the test files. There are both supported environment projects for iOS and Android and on the other hand a test HTML file called hybridge.html that you can put in the root of your local server, along with the hybridge.js file as a development start of your app. All you need is to place those files in your local web documents root and modify them as your convenience, as well as change the original local test path (http://127.0.0.1/hybridge.html) to another URL. In this way is really simple to migrate from a previous web application to a hybrid one. Nevertheless, a HTTP path is needed since currently Hybridge doesn't support load of local HTML files.

[⬆]

Native Events

You can communicate to Javascript from Android/iOS by triggering any of the defined events in Hybridge for recommended use:

  • ready: Hybridge initialization.
  • pause: Mobile app goes background.
  • resume: Mobile app goes foreground.
  • message: Send arbitrary data when required.

Android

Use HybridgeBroadcaster instance to trigger events in Javascript:

HybridgeBroadcaster.getInstance(mWebView).fireJavascriptEvent(webView, Event.READY, jsonData);

iOS

Hybridge provides an UIWebView category that sports a convenience method to trigger events on the Javascript side.

[self.webView hyb_fireEvent:HYBEventMessage data:@{ @"foo": @"bar" }];

Javascript

Subscribe your Javascript on ready event to the native events in order to process the data received in a callback function:

function processData (event) {
  var data = ev.data;
  ...
}

Hybridge.addListener(Hybridge.events.ready, function () {
  Hybridge.addListener(Hybridge.events.message, processData);
  ...
});

Don't forget to remove your handlers to avoid memory leaks:

Hybridge.removeListener(Hybridge.events.message, processData);

[⬆]

Javascript API

A good enough start could be simply look over the code from hybridge.js, nevertheless, let's enumerate the available methods and properties from the Hybridge Javascript object:

Methods

  • init(configuration:Object) Provides initialization configuration:

    • environment (ios|android : String): mandatory, as long as you want to communicate with native side.
    • logger (Function): optional logger object handler, otherwise window.console object is used for standard output.
    • debug (boolean): activates debug (web side) mode, more information on this next.
    • mockResponses (Object): provides optional mock object for debug mode.
  • isNative() Returns true if environment value is correctly assigned.

  • isEnabled() Returns true if Hybridge is already initialized (native and Javascript parts) or debug mode is on.
  • addListener(hybridgeEvent:Event, callback:Function) Subscribes a Hybridge event to a callback handler.
  • removeListener(hybridgeEvent:Event, callback:Function) Unsubscribes a Hybridge event to a callback handler.
  • isEventImplemented(hybridgeEvent:String) Returns true if the event is implemented in the current native version of Hybridge.
  • isActionImplemented(hybridgeEvent:String) Returns true if the action is implemented in the current native version of Hybridge.
  • send(data:Object[, fallback:Function]) Provides the way to communicate from Javascript to native side. An action parameter is required in order to execute an implemented native task. Returns a JQuery Promise containing data returned from native or custom error. You can add a second function parameter fallback in case something goes wrong and you want to supply aditional user feedback as well as update your UI.
  • ready(callback:Function) Function that executes the callback function once Hybridge has become enabled. If Hybridge was enabled at calling time, the callback is executed inmediatly. The main difference with addListener('ready', handler) event subscription is that the event handler never becomes executed when the subscription happens and Hybridge was enabled

Properties

  • errors Container object of customs errors returned by the Hybridge:
    • NO_NATIVE: Environment is not mobile native (ios or android).
    • NO_NATIVE_ENABLE: Native environment doesn't support native Hybridge.
    • NO_FALLBACK: Call to hybridge lacks of fallback function.
    • ACTION_NOT_IMPLEMENTED: Call to hybridge action not implemented in native.
    • WRONG_PARAMS: Call to hybridge doesn't have required parameters (action).
    • EVENT_NOT_IMPLEMENTED: Call to hybridge event not implemented in native.
    • DEBUG_MODE: Hybridge in debug mode, requested feature is unavailable.
    • MALFORMED_JSON: Hybridge attempted to parse or stringify malformed JSON (debug mode).
  • events Container object of available native events.
  • version Current version of Javascript Hybridge.

[⬆]

Debug

Hybridge provides a easy way to mock native mobile responses as you work on the UI development parts. Given a downloadStatus action it can be mocked on Hybridge initialization:

Hybridge.init({
  'environment': 'android',
  'logger': CustomLoger,
  'debug': true,
  'mockResponses': {
    'downloadStatus': {
      'downloadedPercentage': 50
    }
  }
});

When the page calls downloadStatus action, a prompt window will show the JSON mock data. It can be modified as you please for your UI tests.

[⬆]

Custom Errors

In a typical scenario, where web and installed native parts can be different versions you can deal with it by handling the custom error returned:

Hybridge.send({
    'action' : 'download',
    'url' : url
  })
  .done(updateUIfunction)
  .fail(function (e) {
    if (e.error && e.error === Hybridge.errors.ACTION_NOT_IMPLEMENTED) {
      // Advise user to update native applicacion to the newest version
      ...
    }
  });

[⬆]

Demos

Coming soon...

[⬆]

License

Copyright (c) 2013 Telefonica Digital Licensed under the MIT license. The MIT License is simple and easy to understand and it places almost no restrictions on what you can do with a tdigital-hybridge project.

You are free to use tdigital-hybridge project in any other project (even commercial projects) as long as the copyright header is left intact.