It’ll mirror user interactions across 30+ devices and give you a single element inspector so you can make and inspect changes in one fell swoop. (Built with Electron.)
Have you ever wished you had a no-frills, word-processing desktop app dedicated to just Google Drive? Annoyed at having to click the Go to My Drive button everytime you visit https://drive.google.com? Want a Microsoft Word-esque experience for your Google Drive? Or simply looking to separate Google Drive from the other bajillion tabs that you opened for your research paper? Look no further!
I appreciate efforts like this because while I love web apps, I don’t always love running them in my web browser.
Muon is a lightweight alternative to Electron written in Golang in about ~300 LoC, using Ultralight instead of Chromium. Ultralight is a cross-platform WebKit rewrite using the GPU to target embeded desktop applications that resulted in a fast, lightweight, and low-memory HTML UI solution that blends the power of Chromium with the small footprint of Native UI.
A tool for building lighweight Electron apps using a global Electron instance. Forget about 100MB for a Hello World app in Electron!
This works by creating a custom Electron distributable with a small app launcher which checks the app’s
package.json and downloads corresponding version. Then the distributable can be used with electron-builder to build the app installers.
I’d like to see a few folks kick the tires on this and report back how it works. Looks like there’s issues on older verisons of macOS, for starters.
I spent last weekend making a GUI for rsync (and this past week tidying it up a bit) and I learned a lot about rsync, GUIs, design, power, control, and decisions around verbosity and freedom of choice versus simplicity and guidance/support, packaging, maintenance and support.
She had me at
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.
Find out what’s new and what’s next with Electron.
12.0.0, and V8
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.
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. 😄
Build yourself a personal wiki for 2019 and beyond.
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?
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:
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.
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.)
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.
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
This only works well by accident and was mostly a joke. The code quality is accordingly.
It may be a joke, but it’s one that’s chock full of nostalgia for the once-great operating system.
Ao is an unofficial, featureful, open source, community-driven, free Microsoft To-Do app, used by people in more than 120 countries.
This looks eerily similar to Tusk… (same author)
Tusk is an unofficial, featureful, open source, community-driven, free Evernote app used by people in more than 130 countries.
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.
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.
🎉 Flexible invoicing desktop app with beautiful and customizable templates.
If you send invoices on a somewhat-regularly basis, try this tool on for size. The output really does look nice. 😍