Deprecation Notice: HTML 5 Mobile Apps

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    Deprecation Notice: HTML5 Mobile Apps

    In MyEclipse 2015, we enhanced our hybrid mobile application development capabilities with the PhoneGap Application support feature. Our PhoneGap tooling allows you to use the latest Cordova versions and remotely or locally build native iOS or Android applications on Windows, Linux or OS X.

    MyEclipse 2014 has an HTML5 Mobile Apps feature which provides similar functionality based on Cordova 2.x and a custom remote build service. This feature has been superseded by the superior PhoneGap application support mentioned above, and, on January 30, 2015, we will be discontinuing Cordova 2.x build support for HTML 5 Mobile apps.

    What this means

    • If you are using MyEclipse 2014 GA, you can continue to create HTML5 Mobile Apps and preview them in the simulator. However, you will no longer be able to build native apps from your projects.
    • MyEclipse 2015 and future versions of MyEclipse will not allow you to create HTML5 Mobile Apps.

    Why was this feature deprecated?

    Our HTML5 App support had a number of significant drawbacks:

    • Dated Cordova version:
      • The remote build service that built the HTML5 apps is based on dated Cordova 2.x technology.
    • Cordova version lag:
      • While we could update our build service to Cordova 3.x, there will always be a lag between the build technologies supported by MyEclipse and those released by open source communities like the PhoneGap / Apache Cordova community. We’d like our users to be able to use new versions of Cordova as soon as they become available.
    • Cordova version flexibility:
      • The remote build service locks developers to a fixed version of Cordova. We want you to be able to control the versions of Cordova you build your apps with.
    • Limited / dated plug-ins:
      • Given the hundreds of plugins that are available in the Cordova space, the remote build service can only leverage a small subset of these plugins, limiting the versatility of your native apps. Furthermore, plugins suffer from the same problems listed above for the core Cordova technology – dated versions, laggy support for new plugins and no version control.
    • No local build:
      • You must rely on our remote build service to build your native app, ergo, you cannot build offline and will typically experience a higher turnaround time for your builds.

    PhoneGap Application Support

    The PhoneGap application support introduced in MyEclipse 2015 replaces the HTML5 App support and has a number of advantages over it.

    Cordova versions
    The tooling in MyEclipse 2015 has been built to work with Cordova 3.x, and there is no version lock-in; you can choose between any of the versions we have shipped with MyEclipse or download a new version of Cordova yourself and point our tooling to that version.*

    You are free to use any of the hundreds of Cordova plugins available in the PhoneGap and Cordova plug-in registries.

    Build flexibility
    Use the PhoneGap’s remote build service to build Android and iOS apps on any platform. Alternatively, you can set up required SDK locally and benefit from the ability to build Android and iOS apps locally. Local Android builds work on all platforms, local iOS builds can only be created on OS X.

    * Occasionally, breaking changes introduced in PhoneGap will prevent brand new versions from being immediately usable; our new architecture allows us to quickly adapt to these changes and release timely updates to support the new version.

    Migrating from HTML5 Apps to PhoneGap Applications

    HTML5 Apps are similar in structure to PhoneGap Applications. Download MyEclipse 2015 and follow these steps to convert your project into a PhoneGap application project. Alternatively, we have a more detailed tutorial which you can follow to migrate your apps.

    1. Create a new PhoneGap Application project
      1. Choose the same application Id that you used for your HTML5 Mobile App.
      2. On Page 2 of the wizard, choose the Basic Template – Blank Application.
      3. If you were using any native functionality in your app (contacts, geolocation, etc.) then select those plug-ins on page 3 of the wizard.
    2. Copy resources from your HTML5 project’s www folder into the www folder of the PhoneGap project.
      1. Edit the index.html file and replace script references to rte/cordova.js and rte/rte.js with a single reference to cordova.js
    3. Copy images from your HTML5 project’s apps folder into the www folder (with a directory structure of your choosing).
      1. Use our form based config.xml editor to reference these copied images in the corresponding fields, the mapping between the old and new images is straightforward.
    4. With HTML5, we had a separate buildconfig.xml file for each platform. With PhoneGap projects, we have a single config.xml. You will need to transfer settings in each of these files to the config.xml editor. Again, the mapping should be straightforward.
    5. As opposed to the signing profiles specified in the buildconfig.xml files, you must select the signing profile at build time, in the Build wizard. Profiles must still be configured on the preference page, MyEclipse > Mobile Tools > Signing Profiles

    If you have any question or concerns, please post them here.

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