What a mess it is to automate Flutter app builds

by Animesh - Jan 22, 2024

The web build for Chips of Fury is due any time soon! While developing and testing, I had to build and publish manually a few times, and it was a good glimpse into the future. So.. enough is enough, it is about time to automate the whole build and publish process. It was already tedious work, but with three platforms, I don't think it will be a good idea to keep it manual.

I'd heard of this tool called fastlane, which looks like exactly what I was looking for, but boy does it have some rough edges. It would work without much effort on a standard android / ios app. But when you introduce a flutter app, with multiple flavors, it starts to show the cracks.

I've finally gotten things to work, but it's a hotchpotch of fastlane, make and bash scripts. It finally works though!

Note to self: make is not a general purpose scripting tool. I kept butting my head with it trying to make it do things which just seem so simple.

In the end I just resorted to writing some bash scripts that run a bunch of commands to get the build artifacts out. And then I use fastlane to publish them to the respective app stores. make serves as a handy place to keep all the commands/scripts that need to be run in a central place.

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