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ReadMe.md

CEPSparker

*** Note: this is work-in-progress. Documentation is quite incomplete.

--

Starter project for developing CEP panels to be used with Adobe applications

© 2018-2020, Rorohiko Ltd. - Kris Coppieters kris@rorohiko.com

v1.0.7, April 15, 2020

Preamble

The goal of this project is to reduce the treshold to 'get started' building CEP panels.

The approach I've taken is to provide you with a ready-to-run panel with all its source code.

In addition, there is a lot of developer infrastructure code (helpers scripts) which help with tasks like installing, debugging, reading log files, zxp building...

Most of the helper scripts are human-readable command line scripts (.command on Mac, .bat on Windows).

These helpers are all written in such a way that they are easy to inspect and analyze. They also serve as a way to explain and document the development processes.

I know from experience how disheartening it is to find some useful sample code, and then get mired into all kinds of issues trying to install various tools that are needed in order to get a simple bit of sample code to run.

To avoid that, I've also tried my best to keep external dependencies to the absolute minimum.

This package should allow you to get going with the following minimal dependencies:

  • Adobe Creative Cloud CC 2014 or higher
  • Mac OS X 10.9 or Windows 7.x or higher
  • A text editor
  • Google Chrome browser, Google Chromium, or cefclient

Things you need to understand to make sense of it all can be found via the following link:

https://github.com/zwettemaan/CEPSparker/wiki/The-Lie-Of-The-Land

Warning: you must read and mentally ingest the information below. You should complete the 'whirlwind tour' at least once.

Otherwise, you will get stuck.

The CEPSparker.zip file contains a precursor to the project.

In other words: the CEPSparker.zip file you download from this GitHub repository does not provide you with a starter project straight away.

To convert the precursor into a real project, you need to run the SparkerConfig configuration tool.

Also: make sure to use the Wiki!

https://github.com/zwettemaan/CEPSparker/wiki

Security Hurdles

Mac

If you are on a Mac, you also will need to jump through one additional hoop, in order to work with the Mac's heightened security defenses.

Otherwise the Mac will not allow SparkerConfig to run properly.

Make sure to correctly run 'initialSetupConfigApp.command'.

See 'Whirlwind Tour On A Mac' further below.

Windows

If you are on a Windows PC, you will need to run most commands from an elevated command prompt ('Run as Administrator').

The Windows\sudo.bat file provides you with a quick way to get to such a command prompt.

See 'Whirlwind Tour On Windows' further below.

SparkerConfig

SparkerConfig is a simple-minded convenience app.

SparkerConfig allows you to select between some options, and to set some preferences.

Based on these configuration options, SparkerConfig will read some template files, customize them, and then set up the starter project for you.

The project is then ready to be installed, debugged, tweaked...

SparkerConfig does not contain esoteric 'magic'. Source code to this application is provided in the Sparker repository on GitHub.

SparkerConfig will parse the content of the Templates subfolder, do some simple search-and-replace, and some text preprocessing on the text files that live in this subfolder, and will then build up your starter project.

You can run SparkerConfig only once for any particular project.

If you want to start over with a clean slate, you need to go back to the downloaded .zip file.

Getting Started

I attempted to make everything self-explanatory and well documented.

You can start by ignoring most of the stuff in the CEPSparker folder (i.e. don't pay attention to the man behind the curtain).

As your familiarity with CEP grows, you can start analyzing the various tools provided, and tweak or replace them with your own.

We'll start with a very quick whirlwind tour, to give you a feel for the process.

Elsewhere in the documentation, I have a 'cookbook' sections which discusses everything in much more detail, and we'll go through the motions a few more times in increasingly more detail.

There are two separate 'whirlwind tour' sections below: one for Mac, one for Windows.

Whirlwind Tour On A Mac

Cookbook for generating, installing and running the panel:

https://github.com/zwettemaan/CEPSparker/wiki/A-Whirlwind-Tour-on-Mac

Whirlwind Tour On Windows

Cookbook for generating, installing and running the panel:

https://github.com/zwettemaan/CEPSparker/wiki/A-Whirlwind-Tour-on-Windows

Debugging

Cookbooks for debugging different aspects of the panel:

https://github.com/zwettemaan/CEPSparker/wiki/Debugging-Cookbooks

Uninstalling the extension

https://github.com/zwettemaan/CEPSparker/wiki/Uninstalling

SparkerConfig

https://github.com/zwettemaan/CEPSparker/wiki/SparkerConfig

Finding your way around

Before trying to start editing this panel, you need to be able to find your way around.

In order to help you with that, there is a script called setupLocalLinks

Mac

Double-click the

Mac/setupLocalLinks.command

script.

Windows

Run the clean.bat script from the shell with administrative permissions.

First double-click

Windows/sudo.bat

Then type

setupLocalLinks

followed by <Enter>

LocalLinks

A LocalLinks folder will be created.

It contains a few aliases or shortcuts to important folder on your system. You'll often need to visit these folders, so having quick access to them is helpful.

If the links become broken, simply delete the LocalLinks folder and re-run the setupLocalLinks script.

Next Steps

Please check the Wiki for more cookbooks:

https://github.com/zwettemaan/CEPSparker/wiki

As you get more familiar with the workflow, you'll probably want to abandon the command-line scripts in the Mac and Windows folders, and replace them with a more advanced build tool.

For my own projects I use ant, but that's just a matter of personal preference and familiarity. You can just as well use a variant of make, or grunt or gulp or whatever build tool works best for you.

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A starter project for a panel for Adobe Creative Cloud apps

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