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Considering all the Electron criticism that permeates every single "show hn" thread about apps written with Electron I have to symphatize with the author's remark.

There are legitimate technical grievances with Electron, but how many time must those be expressed? If we data mined every Hacker News comment for negative comments about Electron would it be considered big data? I just don't think the persistent Electron criticism for each and every Electron app is very productive.

As other commenters have expressed. If someone could provide an example of an alternative to Electron that provided the same affordances (multi-platform, open source, permissive license, proper web view support), then by all means.

Not everyone is Spotify and can invest the technical know how to make things with Chromium Embedded Framework. To this day the Linux client for Spotify is not an officially supported client. It is something the Spotify developers maintain of their own volition.

And QT, a popular window toolkit, is quite expensive unless you release your software under GPL (at which point you can use QT for free under the GPL license).

Also, a single maintainer does not have time to work on three or more window toolkits for their app (Windows Forms, Cocoa, and GTK).




> multi-platform, open source, permissive license

https://wxwidgets.org/about/

> web view

https://docs.wxwidgets.org/3.0/page_class_cat.html#page_clas...

However, a "web" view could be interpreted in many ways; are you just looking for an easy way to layout formatted text/images/etc? Many toolkits (including wx) have lightweight HTML widgets.

If your app doesn't actually need a "web view" (many don't), Tk is easy to use[1], has strong cross platform support, is BSD licensed, and bindings are available in many languages.

[1] https://tkdocs.com/tutorial/intro.html


Or Qt, or Gtk... all are cross platform, free, straightforward to use, and have web views.


One of the major issues with Electron is that it encourages users to rely on very specific versions that their Electron/Node runtime supports, which prevents the "solution" of wrapping a website in a web view and calling it an app, which, while still not great, is much better than bundling the same resource hog with each individual app.


What's funny is people won't tolerate these platform-independent frameworks on their mobile devices, but eat it up on their PC's.


Nah, I think people complaining about those mobile frameworks are the same group as people complaining about Electron. I'm definitely in both groups, and mostly for the same reasons: bloat, bad performance, and being inconsistent and not interoperable with everything else running on the machine.


> And QT, a popular window toolkit, is quite expensive unless you release your software under GPL (at which point you can use QT for free under the GPL license).

WHY do people keep repeating that?! Qt is NOT under GPL, you do NOT need to release your software under GPL to use it!


They use a dual licensing model, one copy-left and one commercial. To be specific they use LGPL, not GPL. http://doc.qt.io/qt-5/opensourcelicense.html

If you don't want to abide by the LGPL requirements you will have to fork out 459 USD a month. For an established development company this is not a big deal, but for a side project?


If you know the difference, then why did you claim it requires you to license your code under GPL? You can use Qt and other LGPL libraries from a proprietary, closed-source code base if you wish, no license fee required. LGPL is a lot less onerous than GPL.

LGPL is mostly a problem on iOS, since as far as I know it collides with App Store licensing rules, but not that big a deal on desktop platforms.


Yeah, my mistake. From what I gather after reading more about it one only has to take care to dynamically link the qt parts when compiling a binary.


> There are legitimate technical grievances with Electron, but how many time must those be expressed?

Every time until it's no longer used. JavaScript delenda est:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11447851

> And QT, a popular window toolkit, is quite expensive unless you release your software under GPL

'Doc, it hurts unless I do this.'

Then do that! Don't be a software hoarder.

> Also, a single maintainer does not have time to work on three or more window toolkits for their app (Windows Forms, Cocoa, and GTK).

As I mentioned elsethread, X11 & POSIX are supported on Windows, macOS, Linux & the BSDs. Just write against that, and you're done.


I'll take an Electron app on Windows any day over one that has to utilize an X11/POSIX layer to run. In fact I'm not aware of any widely utilized software on Windows that relies on the stack you're advocating for.


I don't believe Qt on Windows uses or requires X11 in any way; grandfather commenter is just confused.


It also isn't GPL-encumbered.




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