Very useful tool for UI prototyping.
Note: I haven't tried the new version yet, so they may be working on this.
Has anyone tried Axure (paid product), and if so, how did you find it? Another client that I did a project for, had claimed it was good, when I told him I use Balsamiq.
I have also given this to clients, to have them draw their own UI concepts (as a starting position / way of communicating) with good results.
Support was added to workaround Steve Jobs hate for it on iOS.
Having finally got to grips with it, in my experience it blows away everything else. Nothing else compares in terms of features or workflow.
But it's still ugly and expensive.
Today, Pencil reached the #1 spot on both of GitHub trending lists (repositories http://i.imgur.com/4SRsna1.png and developers http://i.imgur.com/JrqTy3k.png).
I can understand that you had some issues with Pencil on Linux but claiming that Pencil is very unstable on Linux is a bit uninformed given its validated quality.
Pencil is a small enough project (10 contributors on Github) - I doubt they have resources (time or money) available to put web infrastructure behind it and maintain that - which would be a major distraction from their real goal.
Also, Pencil doensn't need high performance requirements, si Electron could be perfectly valid for it (and im not a big fan of it)
Really don't get the point of Electron, as I never got the point of XULRunner before.
If it is to be a webapp, take advantage of HTML5 features for offline apps, if it is to be native then take advantage of the OS UI/UX features.
Something in the middle just feels schizophrenic from UI/UX point of view.
The bottom line is that cross-platform desktop development is HARD.
Qt and Wx eventually push you toward C++, which few people under the age of 40 want to learn. GTK looks awful on every platform.
JavaFX is actually quite nice now, and embedding a Java runtime takes up no more space than embedding Chrome. But you still have to deal with sluggish startup times, and similar complaints as C++... that Java isn't "cool" now, or whatever.
So if you want something that looks decent on Windows, OS X, and Linux, and is written in languages that 19-year olds approve of, then your options are:
1. Write separate native versions for each platform, using C# for Windows, Swift for OS X, and whatever for Linux, or
If you're a commercial entity, selling products or services for money in the face of competition, then you should probably go with option #1. If you're an open source project or hobbyist, then just go with #2 and take solace in the fact that the people bitching were never going to contribute regardless.
Thanks for making us aware that it is going to be easier to find jobs in High Performance Computing, Fintech, Games, OS and compiler development, machine learning, GPGPU computing, robotics, automotive industry, database engines, audio processing, medical devices, IoT,....
Not criticizing C++ (I'm in my 40's and spent the first several years of my career working with it). Just stating the reality of what people whine about on web forums (when they're not whining that open source developers should do even more free work).
Startup time for JavaFX is just terrible even in comparison to Electron.
There are plenty of options available among commercial JDK vendors, but if you don't want to spend money, ExcelsiorJet has free licenses for non-commercial use.
Real OS native UI requires a re-write on each platform unless using libui which is limited to a button, a checkbox and a slider (okay for little app but you won't build a full blown UI editor out of that)
Then there is GTK but it has lots of problems when you want to maintain a multiplatform app, looks ugly on other platform than linux, and performance is not amazing (but with GTK4 and the vulkan renderer it might improve I guess)
At last the only real solution is QT (so it's not like there are zillions of solutions on the native side, there's only QT basically).
And with QT if you use C++ then there's no package manager, all that prehistoric qmake stuff , etc...
Also visually speaking QT is no more native than HTML, it has to emulate the style of the OS but is not using native OS widgets
So right now Electron is outrageous but in the future the situation might improve a lot (with an alternative based on Servo if it ever happens)
Create a small wrapper layer for the supported OSes, which is the option used by most comercial software actually, like Adobe or Office, and many others.
Electron apps basically put the confort of developer in front of the user they are supposed to serve.
And initial group of users are early adaptors anyway. They are usually eager to try new applications even if they are not perfect.
The problem is: "what next?", when users will start complaining about speed or other things.
Should company rewrite original HTML5 based MVP to C++ to gain speed?
Or should they optimize existing HTML5 solution? (many HTML5 apps are running with nearly native responsiveness).
Or something else? Or maybe HTML5 even for MVP is a bad idea?
Case in point, look at Atom. Let’s assume your “MVP”, “profit $$$” and what not is somewhat correct. Yet, the amount of engineering time and effort it has taken to optimize that tech to fix things that are trivial in the native world is staggering. How does that fit in your “profit $$$” equation, as an initial core team of experienced C++ developers would have developed with these issues in mind and created a product that is viable in the same scenarios.
But if you were building such app in C++ what third part solutions would you recommend for building multiplatform GUI?
Qt? GTK? What is used now and what will be working/looking good on all three main platforms? (Mac/Linux/Windows)
If the program fulfills their needs well enough, users don't care what it's written in or how fat it is.
And multi-platform matters. I've seen blog posts on how to get Sketch running on Windows using a Mac VM. Talk about using system resources.
Atom is bloated and slow and people think that each Electron(or Chromium) app is bloated and slow.
But for example VSCode is a lot faster (and consumes less RAM, from what I just checked) than Atom. So it's not Electron to blame...
Many consumer laptops are still shipping with only 4 gigs of ram - that's not a lot of space for Electron apps.
In fact it was only this year when I upgraded a work colleagues personal laptop from 2GB to 4GB.
Downvoting is an accepted method of disagreement on HN. It's a problematic stance IMO since downvotes grey out the text, making dissenting opinions impossible to make out if they're unpopular enough.
Back on topic, 4GB laptops are incredibly common, especially in retail stores. Getting a laptop with 8 GB of memory frequently requires looking online (most folks still buy their computers from retail stores) and customizing your order.
For example, I just visited both Dell and System76, and except for the gaming laptops, all of them default to 4GB of ram, and adding more (while not terribly expensive) requires thought and action on the consumer's part.
but it seems weird, because Chrome is such a memory monster (it usually takes almost all RAM memory you have on your machine and additionally disk space if you are running of RAM). I have 16GB ram and Chrome takes me 10GB of it and ~1GB of disk space.
As for the 'flag', that's not the same as downvoting. Or at least shouldn't be used in the same way although I have lately seen a disappointing number of comments marked as "flagged" which shouldn't have been. (There's some guidance about flagging posts here: https://news.ycombinator.com/newsguidelines.html). Downvoting is something that's only available to members above a specific karma threshold (2000 IIRC).
This is what I've experienced on 4 different hardware platforms however all running ArchLinux so YMMV.
I only use it due to its Rust's support.
Electron apps are the clear example of putting developer comfort before the user UI/UX.
- Chromium is a mature, open-source project which shows no signs of going anywhere anytime soon.
- Electron allows web developers to use well-understood tools (Chromium/v8, Node/v8) to build web applications with additional, non-Web capabilities in a predictable runtime environment.
- Browsers are the most consistent (and consistently available) GUI environment across platforms.
- Some of the bigger value-add capabilities (filesystem/device access, windowing, native menus) don't necessarily benefit from native code- the Electron and Node APIs are good enough.
- Electron is well-documented, free as in beer, and there are a ton of examples and demo apps.
- Memory usage, obviously. Chrome's biggest selling point was its ability to share resources among tabs (cutting down on memory requirements) which goes straight out the window when each app needs its own instance of Chromium.
- Disk usage, obviously. Each Electron package includes the entire modified-Chromium binary it was built with.
- Many Electron apps fail to take advantage of the main/renderer process split, because of the easy access to Electron APIs inside renderer processes.
- Packaging/building/signing/auto-updating still have a very poor developer experience, and are not consistent across platforms.
- It's too easy to open up security holes by opening remote resources in a renderer process with Node integration on. (Personally, if there's one thing I'd change about Electron, this is it.)
Development time can be cut down, in exchange for a hindered performance on the client
i mean they call out performance issues right in the first paragraph in the readme.
terrible world of half-assed pseudo-native applications.
For some organizations this is manageable and the right move. For others, resources need to be allocated otherwise and they take the path of least resistance.
Most non technical people don't know the difference, aren't checking ram usage, don't have philosophical opposition to writing desktop apps in a browser, etc.
If my choice was between writing real native apps and slowing development versus just getting something done, I'd choose the latter, particularly for a project like this one. I understand the complaint, but in practice it's often a developer's quibble.
Kind of already an established name in the Apple world.
Kind of already an established name in the English-speaking world.
Serious talk though, this kind of comment is worthless.
Not that I really care... but there are too many damned pencils now. I vote apple rename theirs.