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Upcoming Changes to Plugin Fetching
22 Mar 2016

The Cordova 6.0.0 release introduced the pinning of core plugin versions in cordova-lib.

We are happy to announce that one of the new features in the upcoming Cordova 6.1.0 release is a general API that allows any plugin to guide the CLI in choosing a compatible plugin release to fetch for a given project. This moves the plugin dependency information out of cordova-lib so that it can update independently of the Cordova tools and support third-party plugins outside of core. Our hope is that this feature will improve Cordova's plugin ecosystem and reduce some of the frustration that Cordova developers face when adding a new plugin to a project.

The new API allows for plugin developers to give a mapping of plugin releases to project requirements in their package.json. When an app developer adds a plugin to their Cordova project, cordova-lib will examine their installed plugins, platforms, and cordova-lib version and decide which version of the plugin to fetch based on the provided mapping. If the project does not fulfill the requirements for the latest release of the plugin, the CLI will print warnings indicating the problems and fetch the latest release of the plugin that is compatible.

This API will eventually replace the engines element in plugin.xml. It extends that element's capabilities by allowing the CLI to intelligently select a compatible plugin release rather than failing abruptly. Printed warnings still clearly tell the app developer that the version they are using is not latest and show what they must update to fulfill the latest release's requirements. Implementing this API helps you prevent your plugin from causing unexpected build errors when added to a project.

See the documentation for more information about how to use this API in your plugin.

If you have feedback or questions about this feature, please leave a comment on this post.


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