Working with Electron

Working with Electron is a pleasure. I just built an app with it (check it out). For the uninitiated, here is how the creators describe Electron:

Electron is a framework for creating native applications with web technologies like JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.

Most programmers know how to build web apps. Now, with that same knowledge, you can build cross-platform desktop apps.

Electron gets a lot of crap for being too resource intensive and for enabling lazy developers. The haters say that better frameworks for desktop apps already exist and that you should use those instead.

They're right, Electron apps are more intensive than I'd like. For those unaware, it's because every app has a full browser baked into it. That's how you're able to use Javascript, HTML, and CSS.

But let me be the first to say: the haters are missing the point, as usual. The real value of Electron is that it lets you move from random idea to cross-platform app fast, using the web dev knowledge you probably already have (which also means you have a huge community to draw from).

Also, it's not like you the performance problems can't be addressed. Solutions are already being proposed. For example, there's talks of an "Electron runtime". Basically, every Electron app on your system would share a single copy of chromium.

Finally, let's be real. Most people don't have the time to learn a new language and cross-platform framework. So if there wasn't a way to use web tech to build desktop apps, some ideas wouldn't ever get created.

So, I ask you, dear reader: would you rather live in a world with apps that are memory hogs but fulfill unique needs, or not have those apps exist at all? I'm definitely with the first.

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