Software we love even though it's made with Electron

Electron is a framework for developing cross-platform desktop applications with web technologies (JavaScript, HTML and CSS), essentially packaging web apps into native desktop apps that look and behave consistently across operating systems. The infrastructure (back-end) is coded in Small Node.js iconNode.js, and the interface (front-end) is built on Small Chromium iconChromium tools, the open source part of Small Google Chrome iconGoogle Chrome. It was developed by Small GitHub iconGitHub in 2013 and was originally named Atom Shell in reference to the Small Atom iconAtom editor from whom it originated.

The framework has gained significant traction in a relatively short period of time, but it also has some weaknesses: Some Small Electron iconElectron apps are slower compared to their native counterparts. Additionally, some have reported absurd CPU usage with Electron apps. Huge file size is also a common problem, but this does not mean all Electron apps have the same problems.

So, in defense of Electron, here's a list of ten Electron-based software that don’t suck.


  • Visual Studio Code

    Free Mac Windows Linux Chrome OS Electron / Atom Shell Website

    Visual Studio Code is a free, open-source, and cross-platform code editor published by Microsoft. This tool for developers supports several dozen programming languages such as Small PHP iconPHP, Small JavaScript iconJavaScript, Small Python iconPython, Small Ruby iconRuby, Small C++ iconC++, etc. It is one of the most popular code editors currently available and it is highly customizable with hundreds of themes and extensions.

    And if you don't like Microsoft, you can always use Small VSCodium iconVSCodium, which is a community-driven, freely-licensed binary distribution of VS Code without any telemetry/tracking.

     

    Visual Studio Code icon
  • Hyper

    Free Mac Windows Linux Electron / Atom Shell Website

    Hyper is a terminal built on web technologies, based on JavaScript, HTML and CSS, and providing a beautiful and extensible experience for command-line interface users.
    The strong point of this terminal is that it is fully customizable and it supports themes and extensions. This means that you can tweak it in all directions, develop or integrate extensions that will help you develop more efficiently or that will best integrate with your tools.

    Of course, being based on Electron, it's a bit heavier and slower than other terminal emulators like Small iTerm2 iconiTerm2 and Small Alacritty iconAlacritty, but it's still a very good option that's actively developed.

     

    Hyper icon
  • Mailspring

    Freemium Mac Windows Linux Arch Linux Fedora ... Ubuntu Website

    Mailspring is a multi-account mail client based on Small Nylas Mail iconNylas Mail and offering advanced features. Integrating a powerful search engine to index all incoming emails, Mailspring offers an efficient search similar to the one offered by Small Gmail iconGmail.

    Its clean design and simple and intuitive usability make it one of the best solutions available today. Despite the blocking of some advanced features - for example, tracking clicks and email openings - that are reserved for the pro version, the free plan is very convincing.

     

    Mailspring icon
  • Slack

    Freemium Mac Windows Linux Android iPhone ... Chrome OS Android Tablet iPad Electron / Atom Shell Software as a Service (SaaS) Website

    No need to present it anymore: Slack is a collaborative tool to facilitate communication and data exchange between professionals. No more file exchanges by email and via online storage services, no more conversations on instant messaging services, Slack brings together in a single interface everything you need so that you can discuss and exchange files easily with your friends and teammates.

    Slack offers the possibility to connect a very large number of online services in order to facilitate data exchanges between collaborators of the same team.

     

    Slack icon
  • Typora

    Free Mac Windows Linux Electron / Atom Shell Website

    Typora is a simplified text editor specially designed for inexperienced users who want to work with the Small Markdown iconMarkdown language. With its minimalist and intuitive interface, Typora combines your experience as a coder and reader with user-friendly functionality. Indeed, the program overlooks the preview window, and focuses exclusively on your need for speed and efficiency through its live preview window.

    Typora is able to export your projects in PDF and HTML formats, but also in formats specific to Small Microsoft Office Word iconMicrosoft Office Word, Small Apache OpenOffice iconApache OpenOffice, Epub and Small LaTeX iconLaTeX.

     

    Typora icon
  • balenaEtcher

    Free Mac Windows Linux Website

    Etcher is a utility that allows you to use a disk image to create a bootable USB stick or memory card on a computer. Extremely easy to use, Etcher has an image verification module to ensure the successful creation of your bootable storage medium.

    Etcher has a very intuitive interface that guides the user step by step through the process. From a single window, you are prompted to follow three steps: select the disk image to use (in .iso or .img format), choose the storage media on which to "burn" the bootable disk image, and finally launch the "burning" process.

    It's a great cross-platform alternative to Small Rufus iconRufus and Small UNetbootin iconUNetbootin.

     

    balenaEtcher icon
  • Discord

    Freemium Mac Windows Linux Web Android ... iPhone Chrome OS BSD iPad Electron / Atom Shell FreeBSD Website

    Discord is an instant messaging service for voice and text messages originally designed for gamers. Designed as an alternative to Small Skype iconSkype and Small TeamSpeak iconTeamSpeak, Discord allows you to exchange text messages and make voice calls, but also share images, videos and links directly from your computer or mobile device. It's a great alternative to Small Slack iconSlack for gamers or people who just want to have a chat room where they can meet and discuss.

    For example, at Small AlternativeTo iconAlternativeTo, we use Slack as our virtual office for internal communication and Discord to chat with our users, and provide support if needed.

     

    Discord icon
  • GitKraken

    Free Personal Mac Windows Linux Website

    GitKraken is a Small Git iconGit client that allows you to open, manage, clone or create repositories and branches, as well as share code directly from your desktop.

    With a structured and intuitive interface, GitKraken offers you the possibility to access your repositories locally and remotely. In order to simplify your access to the various projects you are working on, GitKraken invites you to synchronize your Small GitHub iconGitHub, Small GitLab iconGitLab and Small Bitbucket iconBitbucket accounts directly via the user interface.

     

    GitKraken icon
  • Simplenote

    Free Mac Windows Linux Web Android ... iPhone Android Tablet iPad Kindle Fire Website

    SimpleNote is a free, lightweight and easy-to-use cross-platform note-taking utility developed by Automattic, the company behind Small WordPress iconWordPress. All notes created on SimpleNote are automatically synchronized on all devices on which the software is installed. The notes you are working on can be shared with other users so that they can add what they want. It is also possible to generate a public link allowing everyone to access your notes online. There's actually a native macOS app but the Windows and Linux apps are made with Electron.

     

    Simplenote icon
  • Kap

    Free Mac Electron / Atom Shell Website

    Kap is an advanced screen capture and recording utility for Small macOS iconmacOS users. Very easy to use, it is attached directly to the menu bar once installed. Kap is offers a perfectly intuitive user interface and allows you to take screenshots or record a video of your screen. The program allows you to choose a predefined ratio directly in the application but also manually indicate the size of the capture to be taken.

     

    Kap icon


There are many other good software based on Electron, like the RSS reader Small Raven Reader iconRaven Reader, the web browser Small Beaker browser iconBeaker browser, the Evernote client Small Tusk iconTusk, the note-taking app Small Left iconLeft or the video editing tool Small Lossless Cut iconLossless Cut, but I didn't want this list to be endless and so, I only chose ten apps that – I think – are a pretty good example that you can build good apps with Electron.

Bonus: You can also run Small Windows95 iconWindows95 as an Electron app. 😁



Comments on Software we love even though it's made with Electron

coralinecastell
· Nov 2019 · Helpful Not helpful 5 Helpful Report as spam

Interesting idea for a list as always, POX.

Small Typora iconTypora I both defend, use and recommend. Small Discord iconDiscord , on the other hand, I cannot stand nor recommend. It's owned by the man who previously owned OpenFeint. In case you're not aware, there was a lawsuit involving selling personal user information: https://topclassactions.com/lawsuit-settlements/lawsuit-news/1236-gamers-sue-openfeint-in-class-action-lawsuit/

Here is Richard Stallman on Discord: https://stallman.org/discord.html

I don't trust Discord, its investors nor anything its team creates. Saying you "love" Discord is a very strong word considering its creator's precedents and discord's investors. I'd strongly reconsider supporting them, POX. Not to mention, it's gotten more and more bloated with every release to the point its original purpose (VOIP) is lost among a store, premium features and unnecessary animations and cluttered visual elements.

[Edited by coralinecastell, November 22]

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Discord feels... cumbersome. That is the primary reason I dislike using it, though this adds to that.

Thanks for your reply. Have you tried Small Riot.im iconRiot.im ? It's FOSS and not cumbersome at all.


smaragdus
· Nov 2019 · Helpful Not helpful 4 Helpful Report as spam

Desktop is under attack. It is invaded by Electron. Electron is cancer for the desktop. Electron programs are bulky, bloated, heavy, sluggish and ugly, they are not native and not portable. Who uses Electron trash contributes to the fall of desktop software.

Legions of incompetent coders who have no idea of real programming pile up layer upon layer of junk and call themselves developers.

Big corporations no longer want to invest in good programmers so Electron "framework" is the obvious choice- it is cheap to hire incompetent developers and as a result desktop is quickly becoming Electron junk-yard.

The problem is that the sheeple accept the Electron trash. The average Joe's favourite argument- "Well, it works". How it works does not matter for the dullard. The more idiots accept Electron the gloomier is the future of software.

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ENiGMAXG2
· Nov 2019 · Helpful Not helpful 1 Helpful Report as spam

You can create nice apps, but optimization sucks big time. Nice additions to my black list though.

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