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Electron

Electron is a framework for building cross-platform desktop applications with web technology.
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James Long jlongster.com

The secret of good Electron apps

James Long is using Electron to build Actual, a personal finance manager — and of course James is sharing the “secrets” he has learned to minimize the common issues with Electron apps. Some of Electron’s problems (large file size, slower boot up time) are inherent in the architecture and need to be solved at a lower-level. The bigger problems (memory hungry and sluggish) can be managed in user-land, but it takes a lot of care to do so. What if I told you there’s a secret that automatically minimizes these problems? The “secret” is to do the bulk of your work locally in a background process. The less you rely on the cloud, and the more powerful you make your background process, the more you can reap these benefits… Dig into jlongster/electron-with-server-example to learn more.

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Electron electronjs.org

Electron 5.0.0 has been announced

Find out what’s new and what’s next with Electron. Much of Electron’s functionality is provided by the core components of Chromium, Node.js, and V8. Electron keeps up-to-date with these projects to provide our users with new JavaScript features, performance improvements, and security fixes. Each of these packages has a major version bump in Electron 5: Chromium 73.0.3683.119, Node.js 12.0.0, and V8 7.3.492.27. Electron 5 also includes improvements to Electron-specific APIs. A summary of the major changes is below; for the full list of changes, check out the Electron v5.0.0 release notes. So what’s next? Although we are careful not to make promises about release dates, our plan is release new major versions of Electron with new versions of those components approximately quarterly.

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Electron github.com

Notable – The markdown-based note taking app 'that doesn't suck'

The thing about taking notes apps is everyone likes ‘em a bit different. Here’s what the author of Notable was after: Notes are written and rendered in GitHub-flavored Markdown, no WYSIWYG, no proprietary formats, I can run a search & replace across all notes, notes support attachments, the app isn’t bloated, the app has a pretty interface, tags are indefinitely nestable and can import Evernote notes (because that’s what I was using before). If that resonates with you, click through. 😄

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Terminal eugeny.github.io

"A terminal for a more modern age"

I put Terminus’ tagline in scare quotes because while it’s intriguing, I do not know for sure whether it delivers on that promise. In more of its own words, Terminus is: …heavily inspired by Hyper. It is, however, designed for people who need to get things done. Them sound like fighting words. But what does “designed for people who need to get things done” mean, exactly? From the feature list in the README, I think maybe it means that it takes Windows more seriously than Hyper and handles printing output more quickly. But that’s just a guess… I’d love to see a roundup and comparison of this new breed of Electron-based terminals. Anybody game?

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John Gruber daringfireball.net

Electron and the decline of native apps

Mac users don’t care about mac apps like they used to. Today and the future is a web platform world with JavaScript at the center morphing into this gigantic blackhole (mainly a gravity metaphor) with everything else being pulled into its orbit. The more Mac users there are, the more Mac apps we should see. The problem is, the users who really care about good native apps — users who know HIG violations when they see them, who care about performance, who care about Mac apps being right — were mostly already on the Mac. A lot of newer Mac users either don’t know or don’t care about what makes for a good Mac app. John Gruber also quoted SwiftOnSecurity regarding Microsoft’s switch to Chromium as Windows’s built-in rendering engine, saying: This is the end of desktop applications. There’s nowhere but JavaScript.

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The Changelog The Changelog #325

A good open source password manager? Inconceivable!

Perry Mitchell joined the show to talk about the importance of password management and his project Buttercup — an open source password manager built around strong encryption and security standards, a beautifully simple interface, and freely available on all major platforms. We talked through encryption, security concerns, building for multiple platforms, Electron and React Native pros and woes, and their future plans to release a hosted sync and team service to sustain and grow Buttercup into a business that’s built around its open source.

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Electron github.com

Make your touchscreen look like it's straight out of a sci-fi flick

It runs the shell of your choice in a real terminal, and displays live information about your system. It was made to be used on large touchscreens but will work nicely on a regular desktop computer or perhaps a tablet PC or one of those funky 360° laptops with touchscreens. If the colors and/or keyboard layout aren’t to your liking, you can customize it to the hilt following these directions in the wiki.

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Electron minbrowser.github.io

Min – a smarter, faster web browser

I love how people continue to experiment in browserland. Min has some cool stuff going: Tabs in Min take up less space, giving you more room to browse the web. Pages you haven’t looked at in a while fade out, letting you see what’s important, and Focus Mode hides your other tabs to prevent you from getting distracted. It also sports built-in ad blocking (table stakes for new browsers to compete?) and DDG integration in the search bar. Min is built on Electron, so while it may be fast it possibly isn’t memory efficient. But what browser is, these days? It’s also worth noting that Min runs on an older version of Chromium, so it’s likely missing some security fixes. (More on that right here.)

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Electron buttercup.pw

The open source password manager you deserve

Buttercup claims to be secure, simple, and free. That’s a powerful trio if it can deliver on its promises. It has a cross-platform desktop app (thanks in part to Electron), iOS and Android apps, and extensions for every major browser. That’s a lot! Especially for an open source project created primarily by just two people. Could this steal marketshare from the big guns such as 1Password and LastPass?

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Electron github.com

Pennywise – a cross-platform app to open anything in a floating window

Sometimes you’re watching YouTube or referencing some documentation while you code and you just want that particular window to stay in view no matter what else you’re up to. This does just that (and only that). Pennywise allows you to open anything in a small floating window that always stays on top of the other applications all the time, allowing you to multitask with ease

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React github.com

Reacto – an IDE built just for React

Boasting a built-in package manager, smart/fast autocomplete, and component previewing, Reacto is an interesting option if you do React work all-day-every-day. Here’s the why: There is absolutely no free software, all-included for React development. The idea is to create the right tool for everyone, to build ideas faster. This is a community project, using plain React code. Anyone can contribute and make it better. Anyone can suggest ideas and help everyone having the perfect tools in their hands. This is what Reacto aims to be: useful.

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Nathan Sobo github.com

Xray – the Atom team's experimental new text editor

An exciting new project from Nathan Sobo and team: an experimental Electron-based text editor informed by what we’ve learned in the four years since the launch of Atom … this project is a testbed for rapidly iterating on several radical ideas without risking the stability of Atom Xray’s priorities are high performance, collaboration, extensibility, and web compatibility. Needless to say, we’ll be keeping our 👀 on this project over the coming months.

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