PHP Classes

PHP PWA Assist: Generate service workers Progressive Web App files

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pwassist 0.10MIT/X Consortium ...5.2PHP 5, Web services, Code Generation


This package can generate service workers Progressive Web App files.

It takes as parameter a XML file with the definition of all the details of a Web application.

The package generates PWA files, such as a manifest, icons and a JavaScript file to implement a service worker process that can run on the background.

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Service workers are processes associated to a given Web site that can run on the background in the browser to execute some useful procedure usually in JavaScript.

This package can generate the necessary files to implement service workers departing from a configuration file in the XML format.

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PWAssist: PWA assistant

Small PHP class for automated PWA (Progressive Web Applications) files creation : service-worker (javascript), manifest.json, and generating icon set for all needed resoultions from a single image.


Simplest way to start using PWAssist, is following: - in the root folder of your project create simple "make" php file like this (for example, pwamake.php):

// file : pwamake.php
  • open this file in your browser, (the current folder must be somewhere inside DocumentRoot of your local web server software). You will see HTML page with three buttons for starting three tasks, and a form for editing and saving your PWA parameters (this will make/update pwa_config.xml file in the current folder).

area with buttons

form for editing app params

Note that __SW Template File__ is a select box, because we have registered templates in the global config file (described later).

  • After performing "Save parameters" you will have "pwa_config.xml" with all desired configuration. Now you can press  any of "action" button (icons, Service worker file, manifest.json)
    or run pwamake.php from the shell:
    $ php pwamake.php {command} [{command} ...]
    where {command} is one of icons, manifest, sw, all.
  • icons - creates icon files for all your registered sizes. These files will be listed in manifest.json as icons for different resolutions.
  • sw - creates service worker javascript file
  • manifest (or man) - creates manifest.json file
  • all - performs all these tasks in the following order: icons, manifest, sw. So calling "all" is equivalent to "icons manifest sw".

Configuration XML file

XML configuration file for your application has a name "pwa_config.xml" and placed in the "current" folder with your pwamake.php.

You can edit this file manuallty in text editor or enter all needed values in HTML form and press "Save parameters" button. Here is a supported parameters list. - __App id__ (in XML - appId) - Uniquie ID for your application. Must comply "variables naming" rules. Used to form cache name in case you leave it empty. - __App Name__ (appName) - Application name ( value for __name__ in manifest.json) - __App Short Name__ (appShortName) - short application name (value for __short_name__ in manifest.json) - __App Description__ (appDesc) - application description (value for __description__ in manifest.json) - __Start URI__ (appDesc) - application description (value used as __start_url__ in manifest.json and as a first item in precache file list inside SW script) - __Home Folder__ : by default work performed on current folder, you started your pwamake.php from. If you need to have another "document root" for your files, change default "./" to a right path (relative to current folder). - __App Version__ (appVersion) - application current version (will be used in cacheName in service worker, so after changing version newly generated SW script could force clearing from old cache and populate new one) - __Lang__ (lang) will be used in manifest "lang" parameter. - __SW template file__ (swTemplate) : here you can set your service-worker template file , to use instead of "standard" built-in code. If you set your own name and such file won't be found in the folder with PWAssist.php, service-worker creating task will fail.

Standard template code for service worker code is inside PWAssist.php module. It is based on service worker code from Google developer examples (cache-First approach) and slightly modified to be able insert "parameterized" blocks, like generated filelist to cache, cache name, string for detecting "dynamic" URL that should be requested directly without caching.

  • __Service Worker Filename__ (swFilename) : name for the generated SW script file. Default is "service-worker.js"
  • __Cached File Extensions__ (fileTypes) : comma separated extensions of files that will be pre-cached (included in file list in SW script).
  • __Folders To Ignore__ (ignoreFolders) : folder names that won't be scanned for files to pre-cache.
  • __Cached Files Size Limit__ (fileSizeLimit) : cached files size limit; all files bigger then this won't be cached. Size can be set with "M" or "K" postfix : "2M" means 2 MegaBytes (equivalent to 2097152 or 2048K), 100K is 100 KiloBytes.
  • __Files To Ignore__ (ignoreFiles) : comma separated file mask for files to be excluded from cache file list.
  • __Cache Name__ (cacheName) : string will be used with appVersion for dataCacheName and cacheName variables in SW script.
  • __Source Icon File__ (baseIcon) : path to the source image that will be used to create icons in all listed resolutions. If image with this name not found, "icons" task will be rejected.
  • __All Icon Sizes__ (iconResolutions) : comma separated resoluitons for application icon. Icons for all listed size will be generated by "icons" task and included in mainfest.json file in "manifest" task.
  • __Icon Filename Template__ (baseIcon) : string template for icon files, here "{size}" is a placeholder for image resolution (pix). For example, if you set "img/myapp{size}.png", program wiill create folder "img" (if it does not exist yet), and image files img/myapp48.png, img/myapp96.png etc.
  • __Background Color__ (backgroundColor) and __Theme Color__ (themeColor) are just a values for "background_color" and "theme_color" in generated manifest.json
  • __Dynamic Requests Contain__ (dynamicPart) : comma separated list of substrings that will say our service worker "I am dynamic request, don't cache me". So when your application call GET request that includes one of these strings, SW will make direct network request.

If you open your saved pwa_config.xml in text editor, you may find some non-empty parameters missing. This occurs when their values are equal to "default" ones.

Macros in Service Worker template

You have to prepare "mustashed" macros inside your template to be replaced with final values. - {version} will be replaced with App Version, - {cachename} - cacheName parameter - {dynamicTest} will be changed to js code for checking for all "dynamicPart" items, so any matching will activate request to Server. - {created_date} for date and time of creation SW module, - {author} will be replaced with Your author's name, - {copyright} - your copyright string (author and copyright can be set in global configuration file, see below) - {filelist} - generated precached filelist will be inserted in place of this string.

Global configuration file.

Default values for all application parameters are hard-coded inside PWAssist.php, in static variable $defaultCfg. But if you want to change them, you can create another XML file: __PWAssist-global-cfg.xml__. It must be saved in one folder with PWAssist.php module.

Any parameter included in this file will overwrite "hard-coded" default value. For example, here you can set your author's name and copyright strings that will apply to all your applications.

Another feature of global config : you can register your service-worker code templates here, so you can choose one of them for generating final SW module.

Below is an example of PWAssist-global-cfg.xml with a registering two sw templates block:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
  <author>My name</author>
  <copyRight>my little big company</copyRight>
    <swTemplate src="PWAssist-cacheFirst.js" title="Cache-First" />
    <swTemplate src="PWAssist-networkFirst.js" title="Network-First" />

When PWAssist has a non-empty list of SW templates, it will create "select-box" for "SW Template" field instead of standard text input, in the "Application parameters" form.

Sample global configuration file is in src folder.

__Note__ : it contains registered SW templates just to show you how to use this feature. Respective js files not included, so if you try to select one of them for generating service-worker in your application, the task will fail !

Source Image file for icons.

I hope you understand that source image for all icons must have resolution greater or equal to the most large icon. Otherwise you will get upscaled pictures looking not so good.

PNG format is preferred for source image, as it supports transparency. Other source image types supported (gif, webp, jpg), but if you choose some ot them, PWAssist will try to create png icons from it, probably without transparency areas.

WEBP source image support.

Alhough PHP has a function for opening WEBP image files (imagecreatefromwebp()), I found it can work with artefacts (color shifting or even black color on the whole loaded picture). So be ready to get strange results if you use WEBP source file for your icons.


Working sample demonstrating "service page" with all buttons for creating PWA modules : demo/pwamake.php


Distributed under MIT License :

  • PWAssist-form.png
  Files folder image Files  
File Role Description
Files folder imagedemo (3 files, 1 directory)
Files folder imagedocs (2 files)
Files folder imagesrc (2 files)
Accessible without login Plain text file LICENSE Lic. License text
Accessible without login Plain text file Doc. Documentation

  Files folder image Files  /  demo  
File Role Description
Files folder imageres (1 file)
  Accessible without login Plain text file index.html Data Example of page using a service worker
  Accessible without login Plain text file pwamake.php Aux. Auxiliary script
  Accessible without login Plain text file pwa_config.xml Data Auxiliary data

  Files folder image Files  /  demo  /  res  
File Role Description
  Accessible without login Image file logo.png Data Auxiliary data

  Files folder image Files  /  docs  
File Role Description
  Accessible without login Image file PWAssist-butts.png Icon Icon image
  Accessible without login Image file PWAssist-form.png Icon Icon image

  Files folder image Files  /  src  
File Role Description
  Accessible without login Plain text file PWAssist-global-cfg.xml Data Auxiliary data
  Plain text file PWAssist.php Class Class source

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