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Just use Qt. It's harder, but not dramatically harder, than a web-based implementation.



The web-based implementation means you only have one codebase for both Slack in the browser and Slack in Electron. So adding Qt in addition to their browser client means they have two disparate clients instead of one client (plus Electron glue code).


And? I am absolutely tired of companies taking a giant dump on the experience of desktop applications. If you're going to make a desktop app make a damned desktop app, stop making everybody accept a terrible electron app because "oh no, I have to do extra work" - give me a break.

How many companies still maintain native iOS and Android apps? Lots. Qt even feels (mostly) native on GNOME desktops these days, if you can't afford to develop a 100% native app for Win, Linux and Mac then at least use a real toolkit that gets you 80% of the way there whereas Electron gets you 0%.


Honestly, I don't think you can point to any actual business reason for a native client. Slack makes majority of their revenue from large organisations buying thousands of seats in one go and a native desktop client is sadly not a huge selling point for the sales team.

At the end of the day Slack has to optimize for growth and there's a huge list of features that will bring more ROI than native clients which will require trebling the size of the code base.


Killing battery life of their users isnt a business reason?


All enterprise desktop software is trash. Everyone has to put up with terrible AV, terrible VPN clients, terrible VOIP/video conferencing, etc. There's no incentive to make good software for your users when your users don't have a choice.


If doesn't affect their bottomline, then why will they bother?


Customers are fickle beasts, they mutter and keep on using a product until they dont.


Sure, but it'll ultimately be because of a hot new UX or feature that Slack didn't think of, not battery life.


yet there's no slack competitor that has "better battery life" or "native apps" as one of its selling points.


Matrix has native clients[1], as well as a weechat plugin.

[1]: https://matrix.org/docs/projects/client/quaternion.html


So rewriting all their clients would be a more sensible approach to user retention compared to keeping the current Electron client that most users seem quite happy with?


Nokia had users who were happy with the solid phones they were building.


So rewriting all their clients would be a more sensible approach to user retention compared to keeping the current Electron client that most users seem quite happy with?


The profit from "large organisations buying thousands of seats in one go" can surely pay a couple of devs to write native apps.


Fine, if they don't have any business reason for a native client they should just can the slack desktop app because it provides 0 benefits over the web app then.

If you're going to do something do it right or don't do it at all.


The desktop app allows them to Mark the checkbox of having a "native" app when selling ... And in my environment quite a few folks prefer the election app over the browser. I don't know why, though.


I prefer a dedicate app because I can alt-tab through a relatively limited number of apps compared to the dozens of tabs I may have open.

For example, the desktop app will show notification count in the dock.

Imagine if all of your apps had a browser version and you could always pick between a tabbed version vs standalone version. To use the tabbed version of everything would be like using an AOL app back in those days where you alt-tab to the AOL virtual window and then find the app you want within it while wishing you could just use the OS' window manager system.


I simply have it in a browser window in a specific part on my desktop which I manage via i3wm. But, well, everybody has their preferences.


I keep hearing bad things about Electron, and have only now bothered to look it up. As a user of Slack, and whatever other applications I happen to use that are based on Electron, I don't care that the application isn't native. Electron is "good enough." I would imagine that 99% of users feel the same way.

Feel free to articulate your issues with such apps. So far, no one has really done that in the various comments online disparaging Electron.


> Feel free to articulate your issues with such apps. So far, no one has really done that in the various comments online disparaging Electron.

What? Every time Electron comes up, people bemoan its battery and RAM usage.


It's slow. It kills your battery. It disregards standard platform idioms.


So what? You're saying that like it's this terrible thing. It's not. Especially because, as has been shown, Electron apps are extremely sorely lacking in things like accessibility.


Yeah, but unfortunately businesses prefer to sacrifice user experience for developer convenience and expediency. I wish it weren't true.

There are a couple of cases where you can avoid that in the text editor and source control space: Sublime Text is cross-platform and native, and so is SourceTree (although it's become quite buggy). So just avoid GitKraken, GitHub Desktop, VS Code, Atom.


> You're saying that like it's this terrible thing.

I made no such claim. I was just providing a legitimate business reason for going the Electron route.




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