Mobile App/Cordova Development Notes

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This page contains notes regarding the development of the Open Food Facts mobile apps (Cordova version).

Source code

The current Open Food Facts apps for iOS, Android and Windows Phone use Apache Cordova (previously known as Phonegap).

Installing Cordova on your machine

Installing Node.js

Install Node.js

Install Git client

Install Cordova

in git-bash client:

npm install -g cordova
cordova -v : 3.6.3-0.2.13

Use cordova platform to know which platform you can install.

cordova platform

Install your platforms

cordova platform add firefoxos
cordova platform add android

Possible errors

"error android_home is not set and android command not in your path" when doing "cordova platform add android"

"error failed to run javac -version make sure"

Java JDK


"Error: Failed to run "java -version"

which java --> an old version of java in C:\Windows\System32 was causing the issue.. :-(

Run SDK Manager, install Android build tools.

Get the source code

Clone the Open Food Facts Cordova repository

git clone

iOS specific issues

Android specific issues

Android version code

in config.xml :

Cordova plugins

Camera, File, File transfer plugins

Install the various plugins

cordova plugin add
cordova plugin add org.apache.cordova.file
cordova plugin add org.apache.cordova.file-transfer

New names for plugins:

biz_000@Colibri MINGW64 ~/Desktop/cordova-app (master)
$ cordova -v

biz_000@Colibri MINGW64 ~/Desktop/cordova-app (master)
$ cordova plugins
cordova-plugin-barcodescanner 0.7.0 "BarcodeScanner"
cordova-plugin-camera 2.3.0 "Camera"
cordova-plugin-compat 1.0.0 "Compat"
cordova-plugin-file 4.3.0 "File"
cordova-plugin-file-transfer 1.6.0 "File Transfer"
cordova-plugin-whitelist 1.3.0 "Whitelist"

Barcode scanning plugin

You may also have to install Apache Cordova plugin for barcode scanning.

cordova plugin add com.phonegap.plugins.barcodescanner


Install Moodstocks

Instructions not up to date for Cordova 3.6. This might be an up to date example :

public class Demo extends CordovaActivity {

  private boolean scanActivityStarted = false;

  public void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
    // Set by <content src="index.html" /> in config.xml

Moodstocks Bugs

The following pops up on the 2nd scan with Moodstocks:

java.lang.RuntimeException : Unable to start activity ComponentInfo ... The specified child already has a parent. You must call removeView() on the child's parent first.

-> Problem with jQuerymobile not "exiting" properly from scan when clicking on "Back" ?

Moodstocks plugin tutorial

Firefox OS

See #firefoxos on Slack
A port of the app was initiated on Firefox OS. The main issues were with the barcode scanner and the lack of Cordova feature parity for the platform.

Notes from the Hackathon

Porting Open Food Facts on Firefox OS.011.jpeg
Porting Open Food Facts on Firefox OS.010.jpeg

How to hack it / install it

Get the source code

Clone the Open Food Facts Firefox OS Cordova repository

git clone

Github repo with the app debugged during the Hackathon

Install the App Manager

Install it on your device

Windows Phone

See #windowsphone on Slack

Ubuntu OS

Separate application and codebase. See #ubuntu on Slack

Publishing on App Stores

May be of interest for future apps