Yesterday I worked on a PhoneGap Build API wrapper for Node. This already exists - https://github.com/germallon/phonegapbuildapi - but I thought it would be a fun experiment. The Build API is real simple so I assumed my code would also be pretty simple. It was… at first. I began by working on the Read portions of the API. This allows for things like getting apps, icons, downloads, etc. PhoneGap allows you to request a token or pass the authentication information in every hit. I took the easy way out and simply passed the auth with each request. I was able to wrap up most of the logic for all of the API calls with two utility functions:
The core function here is doCall, which expects a path to the API. All the API calls share the same base URL, so I made it simpler by just passing the additional part needed. HTTP calls in Node are a bit more complex than CF because they are asynchronous, but not difficult. You can probably guess what is going on here. I open a request which gets a result object. The result object has a data event which means crap streamed in. I append it to a variable. There is an end event which fires - you guessed it - at the end. I can then just parse the result and fire off a success handler.
So as an example, here is the API to get all apps:
And finally, here is how a Node app could make use of it:
Most of the code I wrote for the read API follows this format - ask for crap and pass a success/fail handler.
So - as I said - this was all pretty simple. I think I burned through the Read API in about 30 minutes or so. It was Unicorns and Rainbows fun all around. Then I began to work on the Write API and hit a brick wall. Why? The Write API, or rather the part I was working on - creating apps - allows you to upload files when defining the new application. You can also point new apps at a repository but I wanted to work on the file version first. (Call me a glutton for punishment - I knew it would be trouble.) Turns out that uploading files is a major pain in the rear. As in - there is no real built in support in the core Node.js libraries. Googling was really difficult as well since almost every result was about processing a file upload, not making a file upload request.
After even more furious Googling (and a quick Diablo 3 break), I found this post. I’d love to actually name the guy or gal - but his About page doesn’t actually say who he or she is. Therefore I’ve decided this person is…
… just because s/he/it was so damn helpful. I incorporated some of his logic into my final code, and while I’m not terribly happy with the mashup, it is working correctly. Here’s an example of the call:
And here it is up on the shiny new PhoneGap Build site…
For folks who want to play with this, I’ve included the entire pgbuild.js code below. Remember - I’ve been writing Node.js for about a week - so if you use this in production you have my admiration.