Cross-platform automated builds for node-webkit applications

Recently I’ve been extending my “classic” JavaScript knowledge by learning NodeJS. I’m sad to say that writing cross-platform, Desktop-class applications in Perl is just way too much hassle. However, having also discovered node-webkit I’ve been able to accelerate my desktop application development using classic HTML & CSS knowledge and improving my JavaScript techniques, mostly trying to better understand fully asynchronous, non-blocking programming. Apart from some initial mind-bending scoping experiences which maybe I’ll come back to another day, it’s generally been a breeze.

One of the useful things I’ve been able to do is to automate cross-platform application builds for Windows and Mac (Linux to come, not a priority right now but should be easy – feel free to comment). It’s not compilation, but more like application packaging.

My project has the node-webkit distributable zips in “src/”. The target folder is “dist/” and I’m also using a few DOS tools (zip.exe & unzip.exe and the commandline Anolis Resource editor) which live in dist/tools. The targets are built with timestamped filenames, a .exe in “dist/win/” for Windows and a .dmg in “dist/mac/” for OSX. I don’t do anything clever with Info.plist on Mac though I know I should, but the icons are set on both platforms, assuming they’ve been pre-generated and saved in the right places (resources/).

On OSX I’m using system make which presumably came with XCode. On Windows I’m using gmake which on my system came with a previous installation of Strawberry Perl but is also available in a Windows binary/installer.

My Makefile looks something like below (“make” not being one of my strongest skills – apologies for the ugly stuff). It might not be 100% complete as it’s been excised out of the original, much more complicated Makefile, so use with caution. If anyone has any tips on stuffing it all into NSIS automatically as well, please comment.

NW    := node-webkit-v0.7.3
NWWIN := $(NW)-win-ia32
NWMAC := $(NW)-osx-ia32
NWLIN := $(NW)-linux-x64

	rm -rf node_modules
	npm install

	if exist node_modules rmdir node_modules /s /q
	npm install

# zip.exe & unzip.exe from
# Resourcer.exe from
win: windeps
	if exist mdc.nw del mdc.nw /q
	if exist dist\win rmdir dist\win /s /q
	if exist tmp rmdir tmp /s /q
	dist\tools\zip -r mdc.nw mdc package.json node_modules
	mkdir dist\win tmp
	dist\tools\unzip -d tmp -o src\$(NWWIN).zip
	dist\tools\Resourcer -op:del -src:tmp\nw.exe -type:14 -name:IDR_MAINFRAME
	dist\tools\Resourcer -op:add -src:tmp\nw.exe -type:14 -name:IDR_MAINFRAME -file:resources\mdc72x72.ico -lang:1033
	copy /b tmp\nw.exe+mdc.nw dist\win\mdc.exe
	copy tmp\icudt.dll dist\win
	copy tmp\nw.pak dist\win
	if exist mdc.nw del mdc.nw /q
	if exist tmp rmdir tmp /q /s
	dist\tools\zip -r dist\win\mdc-$(shell echo %date:~-4,4%%date:~3,2%%date:~0,2%-%time:~0,2%%time:~3,2%).zip dist\win

mac: deps
	[ ! -f mdc.nw ] || rm mdc.nw
	zip -r mdc.nw mdc package.json resources/mdc72x72.png node_modules
	rm -rf dist/ dist/mac
	mkdir dist/mac
	unzip -o src/$(NWMAC).zip
	mv dist/mac/
	mv mdc.nw dist/mac/
	rm dist/mac/
	sips -s format icns resources/mdc512x512.png --out dist/mac/
	perl -i -pe 's{nw[.]icns}{mdc.icns}smxg' dist/mac/
	perl -i -pe 's{node[-]webkit[ ]App}{MDC}smxg' dist/mac/
	hdiutil create dist/mac/mdc-$(shell date +'%Y%m%d-%H%M').dmg -ov -volname "MDC" -fs HFS+ -srcfolder dist/mac/
	rm -rf dist/mac/


.PHONY: test

Bookmarks for October 14th through October 27th

These are my links for October 14th through October 27th: