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Using Sencha Cmd with Sencha Touch

Introduction

This guide walks you through the process of using Sencha Cmd with Sencha Touch applications starting with the sencha generate app command and ending with a running application.

This guide applies to both new Sencha Touch applications as well as upgrades of existing Sencha Touch 2 applications.

Prerequisites

The following guides are recommended reading before proceeding further:

Creating a New Application

The following command generates a new application with the namespace MyApp to "/path/to/www/myapp":

#  Make sure the current working directory is the Sencha Touch SDK
cd /path/to/sencha-touch-sdk
sencha generate app MyApp /path/to/www/myapp

Or, you can specify the path to the SDK on the command line:

sencha -sdk /path/to/sencha-touch-sdk generate app MyApp /path/to/www/myapp

To try it out, simply point any WebKit-based browser to http://localhost/myapp.

Congratulations. You have just created a fully working Sencha Touch application in seconds.

Understanding Your Application's Structure

The generated application should have the following file structure:

.sencha/                # Sencha-specific files (for example configuration)
    app/                # Application-specific content
        sencha.cfg      # Configuration file for Sencha Cmd
        plugin.xml      # Plugin for Sencha Cmd
    workspace/          # Workspace-specific content (see below)
        sencha.cfg      # Configuration file for Sencha Cmd
        plugin.xml      # Plugin for Sencha Cmd

touch/                  # A copy of the Sencha Touch SDK
    cmd/                # Sencha Touch-specific content for Sencha Cmd
        sencha.cfg      # Configuration file for Sencha Cmd
        plugin.xml      # Plugin for Sencha Cmd
    src/                # The Sench Touch source
    sencha-touch-*.js   # Pre-compiled and bootstrap files
    ...

app                     # Your application's source code in MVC structure
    controller
    model
    profile
    store
    view
        Main.js         # The main view of the application

resources
    css
        app.css         # The main stylesheet, compiled from app.scss

    sass
        app.scss        # The Sass file which compiles to app.css above,
                        # includes Sencha Touch theme by default

    icons               # Application icons for all mobile devices
                        # When replacing these default images with your own,
                        # make sure the file name and the dimension stays exactly the same
        ...
    loading             # Application start-up screens for iOS devices
                        # Similarly to icons, make sure the file names and
                        # dimension stays the same
        ...
    images              # Put other images used by your application here

index.html
app.js                  # Contains application's initialization logic
app.json                # Application descriptor
packager.json           # Configuration for native packaging

Both "app.json" and "packager.json" have inline documentation for each configurable item. Simply open the files and edit them as you need.

Developing Your Application

Using the family of sencha generate commands helps you quickly generate common MVC components.

Important. Be sure to make your current directory your application's root folder.

For example:

cd /path/to/www/myapp
sencha generate model User --fields=id:int,name,email

This command generates a new Model class named User with three fields named id, name, and email to "app/model/User.js" and add its reference to your "app.js" file.

Upgrading Your Application

Generated applications always have their own copies of the SDK from which they were originally generated. Upgrading your application to a new version of the SDK means that you have to replace the old version with the new one. Do this with the command sencha app upgrade.

Important Be sure to make your current directory your application's root folder.

Here's a more complete example:

cd /path/to/www/myapp
sencha app upgrade /path/to/new_version_of_sdk

Deploying Your Application

Developing your application simply means editing source code and refreshing the browser. All source files are dynamically loaded on demand. There's no building process involved. When it comes to deployment, Sencha Cmd provides the following four build environment options:

  • testing - intended for QA prior to production. All JavaScript and CSS source files are bundled, but not minified, which makes it easier to debug.
  • package - creates a self-contained, redistributable production build that normally runs from the local file system without a web server.
  • production - creates a production build that is normally hosted on a web server and serves multiple clients (devices). The build is offline-capable using HTML 5 application cache, and is enabled to perform over-the-air updates.
  • native - first generates a package build, then packages it as a native application, ready to be deployed to native platforms.

As an example, the following command generates a testing build of your application.

Important. Be sure to make your current directory your application's root folder.

cd /path/to/www/myapp
sencha app build testing

And similarly when you're ready for production deployment:

cd /path/to/www/myapp
sencha app build production

The default deployment paths are taken from the buildPaths item inside app.json. For more details on optional arguments, run the following command:

cd /path/to/www/myapp
sencha help app build

Sencha Cmd automates all optimizations for your application, including the following:

  • Resolving dependencies required by the application and only including exactly what is used for optimal file size/performance.
  • Enabling HTML5 application cache via automatic generation of "cache.manifest" and resources checksum.
  • Minifying all JavaScript and CSS assets.
  • Storing all JavaScript and CSS assets inside local storage on first load and patching them via delta updates between releases.

As a result, your production build can load instantly on subsequent access and updates on the fly with minimal network transfer.

Important. The cache.manifest file is automatically generated for you. Make sure your web server serves it with the correct Content-Type header of text/cache-manifest. To learn more about HTML5 application cache, see the HTML5 Rocks tutorial A Beginner's Guide to Using the Application Cache.

Packaging Your Application for Distribution in App Stores

packager.json contains all configurable values to package your application.

If you're using OS X and have XCode installed, the following command packages your application and runs it on the iOS Simulator:

sencha app build native

For more details on working with packager.json, please refer to the Native Package guide.

Troubleshooting

For common problems using Sencha Cmd, see the Troubleshooting section of Introduction to Sencha Cmd.

Errors While Resolving Dependencies - Part 2

The new Sencha Cmd compiler is used by default to determine dependencies. Unlike previous releases, the compiler determines dependencies by processing source code (application and framework). In some cases this can lead to missing dependencies, that is, dependencies that were automatically detected in previous releases but are not detected by the compiler.

The ideal solution in this case is to add the missing requires statements to resolve the issue. This may include switching overrides to the new, named form, such as:

Ext.define('MyApp.patches.foo.Bar', {
    override: 'Ext.foo.Bar',
    ...
});

This enables overrides to be required by their name and therefore for the compiler to process them in the right sequence.

If that effort needs to be postponed, you can enable V2 compatibility mode (based on launching your application via file system protocol inside of a headless WebView to extract dependencies). To do this, use this command instead of sencha app build:

sencha config -prop v2deps=true then app build

Alternatively, you could add the following line to your ".sencha/app/sencha.cfg" file and run sencha app build as before:

v2deps=true

In this legacy mode, if your application relies on any dynamic server-side scripting (for example, loading a class configuration from a PHP script), you must set the url item inside app.json to the absolute URL from which your application can be loaded on a web browser. For example:

// app.json
{
    "url": "http://localhost/myapp/",
    // ...
}

This should be viewed as a temporary measure, since it won't allow planned compiler optimizations to automatically benefit your application.

Next Steps