Category Archives: ANT

JavaScript library development using ANT and YUICompressor

Since I need to port a huge ActionScript project to JavaScript I see myself confronted with different practices of code organization, workspace structures and a lot more JavaScript specific stuff. I’m used to big, strongly typed ActionScript library development with hundreds of classes and interfaces but I’m not quite sure how to transfer my programming skills from ActionScript to JavaScript.

After reading loads of informations I think I created an reusable and understandable build process for my JavaScript project. I bet you’ve already read a lot about YUICompressor and ANT so here you’ll find just some brief informations.

This is my example workspace with file type src subfolders and even another subfolder within the js directory named like the JavaScript library it contains. All ANT files can be found in src/ant:
 

Now let’s have a look at system.properties. This file bundles the system specific settings and usually won’t need changes at all after your initial setup. Only YUI_COMPRESSOR_JAR and YUI_COMPRESSOR_CHARSET will affect the build.xml. I still don’t know what’s the correct charset, but my encoding problems might be caused by the editor. I’ll figure that out later…

#
# SYSTEM PROPERTIES
#
 
# Version number separated for easy changes
YUI_COMPRESSOR_VERSION=2.4.6
 
# Absolut path to YUICompressor home directory
YUI_COMPRESSOR_HOME=/Users/you/.../YUICompressor/${YUI_COMPRESSOR_VERSION}
 
# Absolute path to JAR file (used in build.xml!)
YUI_COMPRESSOR_JAR=${YUI_COMPRESSOR_HOME}/build/yuicompressor-${YUI_COMPRESSOR_VERSION}.jar
 
# Charset used with YUICompressor - MAKE SURE THIS IS CORRECT FOR YOUR SYSTEM!!!
YUI_COMPRESSOR_CHARSET=MacRoman
#YUI_COMPRESSOR_CHARSET=UTF-8
#YUI_COMPRESSOR_CHARSET=ANSI
#YUI_COMPRESSOR_CHARSET=ISO-8859-1

The project.properties currently only contains the basic workspace structure.

#
# PROJECT PROPERTIES
#
 
# Workspace root relative to build.xml
WORKSPACE_ROOT=../..
 
# Main binary directory
BIN_DIR=${WORKSPACE_ROOT}/bin
 
# JavaScript bin directory
BIN_JS_DIR=${BIN_DIR}/js
 
# Main source directory
SRC_DIR=${WORKSPACE_ROOT}/src
 
# JavaScript source directory
SRC_JS_DIR=${SRC_DIR}/js

Finally there is the main build.xml. I was trying hard to write an understandable documentation. Just follow these steps (also found more detailed within the file):

  1. Replace the default library name and prefix with your’s.
  2. Add your source files.
  3. Choose your browser and html file (works at least with Mac OS X).
  4. Run the ANT task called YOUR_LIBRARY_PREFIX_run().
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<project name="JavaScript Project Tasks" basedir=".">
 
	<!--
		Created without much experience ;) by derRaab(); - http://blog.derRaab.com
	-->
 
	<!-- Load external properties -->
	<property file="project.properties" />
	<property file="system.properties" />
 
	<!--
		_createWorkspace() - Creates the basic workspace structure..
	-->
    <target name="_createWorkspace()" description="Creates the basic workspace structure.">
    	<mkdir dir="${BIN_CSS_DIR}"/>
    	<mkdir dir="${BIN_JS_DIR}"/>
        <mkdir dir="${SRC_JS_DIR}"/>
        <mkdir dir="${SRC_CSS_DIR}"/>
    </target>
 
	<!--
		__openBrowser( browserName, targetFile ) - Opens a browser with a specific file.
 
		This might be Mac OS X specific, so please refer to
		http://www.darronschall.com/weblog/2007/12/launching-firefox-from-ant-on-osx.cfm
		for further informations.
 
		@param browserName		e.g. 'Firefox', 'Safari', 'Chrome'
		@param targetFile		e.g. 'path/to/index.html'
	-->
    <target name="__openBrowser()" description="Utility task - Opens a browser with a specific file.">
        <echo message="__openBrowser( ${browserName}, ${targetFile} )" />
    	<exec executable="open" spawn="yes">
    		<arg line="-a ${browserName}" />
    		<arg line="${targetFile}" />
    	</exec>
    </target>
 
	<!--
		_concatenate( inputFileListID, inputFileSetID, outputFile ) - Concatenates a FileSet into one fresh file.
 
		@param inputFileListID
		@param inputFileSetID
		@param outputFile		e.g. 'path/to/file/name.ext'
	-->
    <target name="__concatenate()" description="Utility task - Concatenates a FileSet into one fresh file.">
        <echo message="_concatenate( ${inputFileSetID}, ${outputFile} )" />
    	<delete file="${outputFile}"/>
        <concat destfile="${outputFile}" fixlastline="yes">
            <filelist refid="${inputFileListID}"/>
            <fileset refid="${inputFileSetID}"/>
        </concat>
    </target>
 
	<!--
		_yuiCompress( workDir, inputFile, outputFile ) - Compresses a single JavaScript file into one fresh file within the same directory.
 
		@param workDir			e.g. 'path/to/file'
		@param inputFile		e.g. 'name.js'
		@param outputFile		e.g. 'name.min.js'
	-->
    <target name="__compress()" description="Utility task - Compresses a single JavaScript file into one fresh file within the same directory.">
    	<echo message="_yuiCompress( ${workDir}, ${inputFile}, ${outputFile} )" />
    	<delete file="${workDir}/${outputFile}"/>
        <apply dest="${workDir}" executable="java" verbose="true">
            <fileset dir="${workDir}">
                <include name="${inputFile}" />
            </fileset>
            <arg line="-jar" />
            <arg path="${YUI_COMPRESSOR_JAR}" />	
            <arg value="--charset" />
            <arg value="${YUI_COMPRESSOR_CHARSET}" />
            <arg value="-o" />
            <targetfile />
            <mapper type="glob" from="${inputFile}" to="${outputFile}" />
        </apply>
    </target>
 
	<!--
 
		SETTING UP YOUR BUILD PROCESS:
 
		1.	Recognise the default name ('library') and prefix ('LIBRARY_JS') in this default build.xml 
		1.	Choose a unique name and prefix for your library.
		2.	Use your editor's case sensitive replace all functionality to change the default values
			('library'->'yourLibrary' and 'LIBRARY_JS_'->'YOUR_LIBRARY_JS_')
			NOTE: You can add multiple libraries to one build.xml
		3.	Add a version number (see ...VERSION) if needed.
		4.	Add files to your file list (see ...FILE_LIST) - OR! add a bunch of files to your file set (see ...FILE_SET)
		5.	Choose your browser (see ...RUN_BROWSER_NAME)
		6	Choose your run file (see ...RUN_FILE_NAME)
 
	-->
 
	<!--
		...NAME					Library name used in file system
		...VERSION				Optional library version suffix e.g. '-1.2.6' or ''
		...BIN_FILE_DIR			Library binary folder e.g. 'bin/js'
		...BIN_FILE_NAME		Full file name of concatenated file
		...BIN_MIN_FILE_NAME	Full file name of minimized file (must be different!)
		...SRC_DIR				Library source folder e.g. 'src/js/library'
		...RUN_BROWSER_NAME		Your test browser of choice (Mac OS X only?) e.g. 'Firefox', 'Safari', 'Chrome' 
		...RUN_FILE_NAME		Your test file e.g. 'index.html' 
	-->
	<property name="LIBRARY_JS_NAME" value="library"/>
	<property name="LIBRARY_JS_VERSION" value=""/>
	<property name="LIBRARY_JS_BIN_DIR" value="${BIN_JS_DIR}"/>
	<property name="LIBRARY_JS_BIN_FILE_NAME" value="${LIBRARY_JS_NAME}${LIBRARY_JS_VERSION}.js"/>
	<property name="LIBRARY_JS_BIN_MIN_FILE_NAME" value="${LIBRARY_JS_NAME}${LIBRARY_JS_VERSION}.min.js"/>
	<property name="LIBRARY_JS_SRC_DIR" value="${SRC_JS_DIR}/${LIBRARY_JS_NAME}"/>
	<property name="LIBRARY_JS_RUN_BROWSER_NAME" value="Safari"/>
	<property name="LIBRARY_JS_RUN_FILE_NAME" value="index.html"/>
 
	<!--
		...FILE_LIST	File list used within _concatenate()
		...FILE_SET		File set used within _concatenate()
 
		Important:
 
		1.	YUICompressor will use the ...FILE_LIST first and ...FILE_SET afterwards!
			So you can first assign a special file order and then additionally add a bunch of unordered files
		2.	Avoid duplicates since YUICompresser doesn't check if a file was already added!
		3.	It's a good approach to only use one of them and leave the other one empty.
	-->
    <filelist id="LIBRARY_JS_FILE_LIST" dir="${LIBRARY_JS_SRC_DIR}">
    	<file name="core.js"/>
    	<file name="more.js"/>
    	<file name="evenmore.js"/>
    </filelist>
    <fileset id="LIBRARY_JS_FILE_SET" dir="${LIBRARY_JS_SRC_DIR}">
    	<exclude name="**/*.*"/><!-- by default file set is not used! -->
    	<!--<include name="**/*.js"/> this is how you add all js files-->
    </fileset>
 
	<!--
		..._createWorkspace()	- Creates the library source dir.
		..._concatenate()		- Concatenates the library.
		..._compress()			- Compresses the library.
		..._openBrowser()		- Open's the index.html in your preferred browser.
		..._run()				- Compresses the library and open's the index.html in your preferred browser.
	-->
	<target name="LIBRARY_JS_createWorkspace()" depends="_createWorkspace()">
		<mkdir dir="${LIBRARY_JS_SRC_DIR}"/>
	</target>
	<target name="LIBRARY_JS_concatenate()" depends="LIBRARY_JS_createWorkspace()">
		<antcall target="__concatenate()">
			<param name="inputFileListID" value="LIBRARY_JS_FILE_LIST"/>
			<param name="inputFileSetID" value="LIBRARY_JS_FILE_SET"/>
			<param name="outputFile" value="${LIBRARY_JS_BIN_DIR}/${LIBRARY_JS_BIN_FILE_NAME}"/>
		</antcall>
	</target>
	<target name="LIBRARY_JS_compress()" depends="LIBRARY_JS_concatenate()">
		<antcall target="__compress()">
			<param name="workDir" value="${LIBRARY_JS_BIN_DIR}"/>
			<param name="inputFile" value="${LIBRARY_JS_BIN_FILE_NAME}"/>
			<param name="outputFile" value="${LIBRARY_JS_BIN_MIN_FILE_NAME}"/>
		</antcall>
	</target>
	<target name="LIBRARY_JS_openBrowser()">
		<antcall target="__openBrowser()">
			<param name="browserName" value="${LIBRARY_JS_RUN_BROWSER_NAME}"/>
			<param name="targetFile" value="${basedir}/${BIN_DIR}/${LIBRARY_JS_RUN_FILE_NAME}"/>
		</antcall>
	</target>
	<target name="LIBRARY_JS_run()">
		<antcall target="LIBRARY_JS_compress()"/>
		<antcall target="LIBRARY_JS_openBrowser()"/>
	</target>
 
</project>

Notice that it’s possible to have multiple libraries within a single build.xml. Simply use different prefixes!

In the end I found most of the core informations at http://www.samaxes.com and http://www.darronschall.com/weblog. Thank you guys! And of course the ANT and YUICompressor manuals accessible through Google ;).

And now I have two question:

  • Will you tell me your preferred editor?
  • Will you give me a hint according to code organization?

Please.

iOS development with AIR 2.6 using FDT and my new friend ANT

Adobe recently released AIR 2.6 with improved iOS support, so I finally had to get into using ADT with ANT. My editor of choice is FDT so I wanted to do as less extra work as possible. Mainly because I’m no terminal-guy. I need a clean GUI holding my hand while setting up workspaces, linking libraries and stuff like that. In other words, command line and compiler arguments are freaking me out. ;)

I read a lot of blogposts and articles (see link list on the bottom of this post) but most of them compile SWFs using ANT, which means setting source path and stuff like that as command line arguments. But hey, FDT does this already during my daily workflow, so to me it seems natural reusing this within the iOS packaging process.

So I won’t comment a lot what I came up with because all of this can be read on one of the sites below, but show you simply a screenshot of my “IOSAIRTest” workspace structure and of course the ANT files. Notice that I’m not into having different directories for debug, publish, testing and so. I like to have all source files clean and separated by file type (would have an mxml folder too):

You will find the most interesting files in src/ant. Let’s start with local.properties which just defines the SDK path:

FLEX_HOME=/Users/{USERNAME}/Path/To/FlexSDKs/4.5.0.17689_AIR_2.6
MXMLC=${FLEX_HOME}/bin/mxmlc
ADT=${FLEX_HOME}/bin/adt

Within build.properties you setup all params regarding your project:

app.rootdir=./../..
app.descriptor=${app.rootdir}/bin/IOSAIRTest-app.xml
app.rootfile=IOSAIRTest.swf
app.sourcedir=${app.rootdir}/src/as
app.bindir=${app.rootdir}/bin
app.source=${app.sourcedir}/de/superclass/IOSAIRTest.as
app.includes=assets icons Default.png Default-Portrait.png
 
build.storetype=pkcs12
build.keystore=${app.rootdir}/resources/ios/iPhoneDevCert.p12
build.storepass={PASSWORD;)}
build.mobileprofile=${app.rootdir}/resources/ios/AIR_TEST.mobileprovision
build.name=IOSAIRTest.ipa
 
fdt.projectname=AIRTest
fdt.mainclass=${app.source}
fdt.target=${app.bindir}/${app.rootfile}

And build.xml contains four ways to create the IPA package and the according FDT tasks:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<project name="AIR export" basedir=".">
 
	<property file="local.properties" />
	<property file="build.properties" />
 
	<!-- FDT tasks
 
		see http://fdt.powerflasher.com/docs/FDT_Ant_Tasks#fdt.launch.application - for documentation
		see http://fdt.powerflasher.com/docs/FDT_and_Ant_Tutorial#Your_First_Task:_Compiling_.26_JRE_Error - if you run into errors!
	-->
 
	<target name="FDT create SWF">
		<fdt.launch.resetFlexCompiler/>
		<fdt.launch.application
			projectname="${fdt.projectname}"
			mainclass="${fdt.mainclass}"
			profile="false"
			debug="false"
			target="${fdt.target}"
	    	startswf="false"/>
	  </target>
 
	<target name="FDT create SWF debug">
		<fdt.launch.resetFlexCompiler/>
		<fdt.launch.application
			projectname="${fdt.projectname}"
			mainclass="${fdt.mainclass}"
			profile="false"
			debug="true"
			target="${fdt.target}"
	    	startswf="false"/>
	  </target>
 
	<!-- ADT tasks -->
 
	<target name="iOS create IPA debug" depends="FDT create SWF debug">
		<exec executable="${ADT}">
			<arg line="-package
						-target ipa-debug
						-storetype ${build.storetype}
						-keystore ${build.keystore}
						-storepass ${build.storepass}
						-provisioning-profile ${build.mobileprofile}
						${app.bindir}/${build.name}
						${app.descriptor}
						-C ${app.bindir} ${app.rootfile} ${app.includes}
			"/>
		</exec>
	</target>
 
	<target name="iOS create IPA test" depends="FDT create SWF">
		<exec executable="${ADT}">
			<arg line="-package
						-target ipa-test
						-storetype ${build.storetype}
						-keystore ${build.keystore}
						-storepass ${build.storepass}
						-provisioning-profile ${build.mobileprofile}
						${app.bindir}/${build.name}
						${app.descriptor}
						-C ${app.bindir} ${app.rootfile} ${app.includes}
			"/>
		</exec>
	</target>
 
	<target name="iOS create IPA ad-hoc" depends="FDT create SWF">
		<exec executable="${ADT}">
			<arg line="-package
						-target ipa-ad-hoc
						-storetype ${build.storetype}
						-keystore ${build.keystore}
						-storepass ${build.storepass}
						-provisioning-profile ${build.mobileprofile}
						${app.bindir}/${build.name}
						${app.descriptor}
						-C ${app.bindir} ${app.rootfile} ${app.includes}
			"/>
		</exec>
	</target>
 
	<target name="iOS create IPA app-store" depends="FDT create SWF">
		<exec executable="${ADT}">
			<arg line="-package
						-target ipa-app-store
						-storetype ${build.storetype}
						-keystore ${build.keystore}
						-storepass ${build.storepass}
						-provisioning-profile ${build.mobileprofile}
						${app.bindir}/${build.name}
						${app.descriptor}
						-C ${app.bindir} ${app.rootfile} ${app.includes}
			"/>
		</exec>
	</target>
 
</project>

If you’re not sure how to get started with all this AIR 2.6 stuff because it’s currently not integrated in the Flex SDKs – follow this steps:

Loads of linked informations:

http://blogs.adobe.com/cantrell/archives/2011/03/how-to-use-air-2-6-with-flash-builder-4.html
http://www.mobilerevamp.org/2010/07/30/how-to-build-your-first-air4android-application-using-fdt-and-eclipse/
https://code.google.com/p/air-on-android-with-fdt/
http://www.beautifycode.com/flex-hero-mobile-project-template-for-fdt-4-2
http://www.beautifycode.com/publish-package-an-air-file-with-fdt4
http://labs.almerblank.com/2011/03/using-ant-to-compile-a-flex-mobile-project-for-ios/
http://va.lent.in/blog/2011/03/25/air2-6-app-for-ios/ (Thanks for ANT files!)
http://developerartofwar.com/2011/03/24/air-2-6-on-ipad-2-in-15-mins/
http://karoshiethos.com/2010/04/06/use-fdt-folder-path-variables-in-ant/
http://fdt.powerflasher.com/docs/FDT_Ant_Tasks#fdt.launch.application
http://labs.almerblank.com/2011/03/using-ant-to-compile-a-flex-mobile-project-for-ios/

Update:
http://www.blackcj.com/blog/2011/04/04/ios-android-and-blackberry-in-a-single-click-with-ant/