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Introduction to Sencha Cmd

Sencha Cmd is a cross-platform command line tool that provides many automated tasks around the full life-cycle of your applications from generating a new project to deploying an application to production.

Understanding Sencha Cmd

Sencha Cmd provides a collection of powerful, time-saving features that work together and in conjunction with the Sencha Ext JS and Sencha Touch frameworks. Sencha Cmd provides the following capabilities:

  • Code Generation Tools: Code generation tools to generate entire applications and extend those applications with new MVC components.
  • JS Compiler: A framework-aware, JavaScript compiler that understands the semantics of Sencha frameworks and can produce minimal footprint builds from your source. The compiler can optimize many of the high-level semantics provided by Sencha frameworks to reduce load time of your applications.
  • Web Server: Provides a lightweight web server that serves files from localhost.
  • Native Packaging: Native packaging to convert a Sencha Touch application into a first-class, mobile application that has access to device functionality and can be distributed in App Stores.
  • Package Management System: Distributed package management system for easy integration of packages (such as Ext JS Themes) created by others or from the Sencha Package Repository.
  • Build Scripts: Generated build script for applications and packages with "before" and "after" extension points so you can customize the build process to fit your specific needs.
  • Tuning Tools: Powerful code selection tools for tuning what is included in your application's final build, determine common code across pages and partition shared code using high-level set operations to get builds exactly as you want them.
  • Workspace Management: Assists in sharing frameworks, packages and custom code across multiple applications.
  • Image Capture: Converts CSS3 features (such as border-radius and linear-gradient) into sprites for legacy browsers.
  • Flexible Configuration System: Enables defaults to be specified for command options at the application or workspace level or across all workspaces on a machine.
  • Logging: Robust logging to help you understand the inner workings of commands and facilitate troubleshooting.
  • Third-party Software: Sencha Cmd includes a compatible version of Compass, Sass, and Apache Ant.
  • Code Generation Hooks: Can be specific to one page or shared by all pages in the workspace, for example, to check coding conventions or guidelines as new models are generated).

Compatibility

Sencha Cmd supports Sencha Ext JS version 4.1.1a or higher and Sencha Touch version 2.1 or higher. Many of the features of Sencha Cmd require framework support that is only available at these or later version levels. Some low-level commands can be used for older versions of Sencha frameworks or JavaScript in general.

If you are using an older version of Ext JS, you may use Sencha Cmd's build command to build via your JSB file. In other words, Sencha Cmd can replace JSBuilder to produce a compressed build of the files described in a JSB file. Sencha Cmd will not update your JSB file as was done by the deprecated SDK Tools v2.

Sencha Touch 2.0 and Sencha Ext JS 4.0 require the deprecated SDK Tools v2, which cannot be used with later Touch or Ext JS versions.

System Setup

Download and install this software:

  • JRE Sencha Cmd requires Java Runtime Environment version 1.7 to support all functionality, however, most features will work with 1.6 (the minimum supported version).
  • Sencha Cmd
  • Ruby Ruby differs by OS:
  • Windows: Download Ruby from rubyinstaller.org. Get the .exe file version of the software and install it.
  • Mac OS: Ruby is pre-installed. You can test if Ruby is installed with the Ruby -v command.
  • Ubuntu: Use sudo apt-get install ruby2.0.0 to download Ruby.
  • iOS Packaging: Apple Xcode
  • Android Packaging: Android SDK Tools and Eclipse (optional).

Add the install paths to your PATH environmental variable.

Verify Installation

To verify that Sencha Cmd is working properly, open a command line, change directory to your application, and type the sencha command.

You should see output that starts something like this:

Sencha Cmd v4.0.n.n
...

Upgrading Sencha Cmd

The sencha upgrade feature lets you upgrade Sencha Cmd.

Check for new updates to Sencha Cmd:

sencha upgrade --check

Without the --check option, the sencha upgrade command downloads and installs the latest version if you don't already have it:

sencha upgrade

After the installer is done, start a new console or terminal to pick up the changes to your PATH environment variable.

Because multiple versions of Sencha Cmd can be installed side-by-side, you can safely try new releases and simply uninstall them (or adjust the PATH) to go back to your previous version. Upgrading your applications using sencha app upgrade however, is something you may need "roll back" if you downgrade to an older Sencha Cmd.

Beta Releases

If you want to check for beta releases, use:

sencha upgrade --check --beta

To install the latest beta version:

sencha upgrade --beta

Note It is possible that the most current release is in either the "beta" or stable channel. That is to say, sencha upgrade --beta may install a beta that predates the current release that would be installed by sencha upgrade.

Command Basics

Sencha Cmd features are arranged in categories (or modules) and commands:

sencha [category] [command] [options...] [arguments...]

Help is available using the help command.

sencha help [module] [action]

For example, try this:

sencha help

Displays the current version and the available top-level commands. For example:

Sencha Cmd v4.0.n.n
...

Options
  * --background, -b - Runs the web server in a background thread
  * --cwd, -cw - Sets the directory from which commands should execute
  * --debug, -d - Sets log level to higher verbosity
  * --nologo, -n - Suppress the initial Sencha Cmd version display
  * --plain, -pl - enables plain logging output (no highlighting)
  * --quiet, -q - Sets log level to warnings and errors only
  * --sdk-path, -s - The location of the SDK to use for non-app commands
  * --time, -ti - Display the execution time after executing all commands

Categories
  * app - Perform various application build processes
  * compass - Wraps execution of compass for sass compilation
  * compile - Compile sources to produce concatenated output and metadata
  * cordova - Manage Cmd/Cordova integration
  * fs - Utility commands to work with files
  * generate - Generates models, controllers, etc. or an entire application
  * manifest - Extract class metadata
  * package - Manages local and remote packages
  * phonegap - Manage Cmd/PhoneGap integration
  * repository - Manage local repository and remote repository connections
  * theme - Commands for low-level operations on themes
  * web - Manages a simple HTTP file server

Commands
  * ant - Invoke Ant with helpful properties back to Sencha Cmd
  * build - Builds a project from a legacy JSB3 file.
  * config - Load a properties file or sets a configuration property
  * help - Displays help for commands
  * js - Executes arbitrary JavaScript file(s)
  * upgrade - Upgrades Sencha Cmd
  * which - Displays the path to the current version of Sencha Cmd

Current Directory

In many cases, Sencha Cmd requires that you set a specific current directory. Or it may just need to know details about the relevant Sencha SDK. The SDK can be determined automatically by Sencha Cmd when it is run from a generated application folder or, for some few commands, from an extracted SDK folder.

Important For the following commands, Sencha Cmd needs to be run from the root folder of a generated application. The commands fail if not run from the application's root folder.

* `sencha generate ...` (for commands other than `app`, `package` and `workspace`)
* `sencha app ...`

This is also true of Packages. When running commands like sencha package build, the current directory must be the desired package folder.

Sencha Cmd Documentation

The many guides for Sencha Cmd are organized to help build on your understanding and it is recommended that you follow this sequence. Jumping ahead can result in confusion as the advanced guides often assume understanding of the content of the earlier guides.

At the start of each guide are links to any prerequisites for that guide. Further, most guides end with a set of links for further reading.

Beyond The Basics

There are many other details related to using Sencha Cmd that can be helpful. The help command is a great reference, but if you want to walk through all the highlights, consult Advanced Sencha Cmd.

Troubleshooting

Here are some tips for solving common problems encountered when using Sencha Cmd.

Command Not Found

If running sencha results in the error message sencha: command not found on OSX/Linux or 'sencha' is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file on Windows, follow these steps:

  • Close all existing terminal/command prompt windows and reopen them.
  • Make sure that Sencha Cmd is properly installed:
    • The installation directory exists. By default, the installation path is:
      • Windows: C:\Users\Me\bin\Sencha\Cmd\{version}
      • Mac OS X: ~/bin/Sencha/Cmd/{version}
      • Linux: ~/bin/Sencha/Cmd/{version}
    • The path to Sencha Cmd directory is prepended to your PATH environment variable. From the terminal, run echo %PATH% on Windows or echo $PATH on Mac or Linux. The Sencha Cmd directory should be displayed in part of the output. If this is not the case, add it to your PATH manually.
    • The environment variable SENCHA_CMD_{version} is set, with the value being the absolute path to the installation directory mentioned above. From the command line, use the echo command to view this variable. If the output is empty, set the environment variable manually.

Cannot find Ruby

If you see an error related to not recognizing or finding "ruby" this is likely because Ruby is not installed or is not in your PATH. See the previous System Setup section.

Wrong Current Directory

A common mistake is to perform a command that requires the current directory to be either an extracted SDK directory or an application directory, but such a directory has not been set. If this requirement is not met, Sencha Cmd displays an error and exits.

Note that a valid application directory is one that was generated by Sencha Cmd.

Errors While Resolving Dependencies

The sencha app build command works by reading your index.html and scanning for required classes. If your application does not properly declare the classes it requires, the build usually completes but will not contain all the classes needed by your application.

To ensure that you have all required classes specified, always develop with the debugger console enabled ("Developer Tools" in IE/Chrome, FireBug in FireFox and Web Inspector in Safari) and resolve all warnings and error messages as they appear.

Whenever you see a warning like this:

[Ext.Loader] Synchronously loading 'Ext.foo.Bar'; consider adding 'Ext.foo.Bar' explicitly as a require of the corresponding class

Immediately add 'Ext.foo.Bar' inside the requires array property of the class from which the dependency originates. If it is a application-wide dependency, add it to the requires array property inside Ext.application(...) statement.

Next Steps