Alex Buijs commented on CB-11873:

It could be there is one drawback of building without separately preparing 
first: it seems like the 'before_plugin_install' hook is not triggered... :-/

> No plugins installed when running a prepare before a build in a gulp task.
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
>                 Key: CB-11873
>                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/CB-11873
>             Project: Apache Cordova
>          Issue Type: Bug
>          Components: CordovaLib
>    Affects Versions: 6.3.1
>            Reporter: Alex Buijs
> I use a gulp task for building, so I work directly with {code}var cordova = 
> require('cordova-lib').cordova;
> cordova.build({platforms: ['ios', 'android'], options: {}}, cb);{code}
> Because of [a 
> check|https://github.com/apache/cordova-lib/blob/6.3.x/cordova-lib/src/cordova/util.js#L279]
>  in cordova-lib/src/cordova/util.js, platforms need to be added before the 
> project can be build, otherwise the error "No platforms added to this 
> project..." is thrown.
> Since I always remove the contents of the platforms and plugins directories 
> before building (I target multiple apps from the same codebase), I need to 
> prepare the project before I can build, because of this check. This leads to 
> a bug similar to CB-11519 and CB-11589, where plugins are never correctly 
> installed.
> Unfortunately, I couldn't find the exact reason why platforms/ios/ios.json is 
> missing the plugins when running a prepare immediately followed by a build. 
> When the tasks are performed manually one after the other, everything works 
> fine. I am waiting for the callback of prepare to be called, before the build 
> task is started, but perhaps the prepare callback is called too early?
> Since the build function in cordova-lib/src/cordova/build.js already prepares 
> the project (after calling preProcessOptions in util.js), it seems redundant 
> to be forced to prepare the project before building.
> When the check I mentioned is not performed, a build with empty platforms and 
> plugins directories works just fine: it saves one superfluous prepare task 
> and, more importantly, plugins are correctly installed.
> My proposal: perhaps this check could be omitted when preProcessOptions is 
> called from the build task?

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