This morning I gave a talk at NOVA Code Camp covering building hybrid mobile apps with Cordova, Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova (aka VS TACO), as well as Visual Studio Code Cordova extensions, Cordova CLI, and Ionic. Needless to say it was a lot to pack into a 75 minute session. I spent most of my time talking about the big picture concepts surrounding Cordova mobile apps, use of Ionic vs other approaches, and demoing the many different combinations of tools you can choose to be productive with Cordova.
In particular, I think at this point in time, VS TACO is an essential element in the tool chain, but due to slow build times and general sluggishness of the environment when coding, its not quite ready to be the one and only tool you need. But if the Cordova team can speed up the build time, I think the occasional sluggishness of the editor and environment are not bad enough to make me look elsewhere.
However, the team has concurrently put together a great alternative which is my favorite set up for working on Cordova apps these days - Visual Studio Code + Cordova Tools extensions. When you put those together, you basically get the speed of the command line tools invoked from a simple debug UI that is part of VS code and you can easily attach to the VS Android Emulator, the (really really slow) Android SDK Emulator, and the iOS Simulator running VS Code from MacOS. You can also debug an attached tethered physical device from there as well.
It was perfect timing giving this talk because I just published a fairly sophisticated mobile app for a customer and published it to the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
I'm going to find time in the next few weeks to write a series of blog posts covering the ways I've been using the different combos of tools and environments and when and why I choose each one.
So for those who attended or anyone else who wants them, here are the slides and demos from my talk. I didn't even get to show the apps that actually have some substance to their code because I was focusing on the tools and getting things running and debugging and didn't need more than a default hello world for that. But here are some demos to play with anyway.