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Ask HN: Why does everyone hate Electron?
8 points by zabana 8 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 3 comments
Is it really that bad ?

The argument that it's too memory hungry does not sound strong enough to me since most of us (I'm making assumptions here, but I don't think I'm way off the mark) run powerful hardware (at least 8GB of RAM).

I don't know, maybe I'm just in my own bubble but I'm interested to know your thoughts.

And if you have built a successful Electron product, what's your experience ? Would you do it again ?






You are in your bubble indeed.

- Sure, my computer has 16GB. The computer I develop on, plus run a couple VMs, containers, etc. That is not the case for the common user, who has to make do with less. This is especially palpable on mobile, with less RAM, fewer cores and more throttling.

- And those 16 GB? Nope, I do not intend to squander them on your app, and neither do the users. We use the computers, y'know. Perhaps to run an IDE, perhaps to watch a movie, perhaps to make a spreadsheet, but most apps are an addition to the main task. This is the epitome of arrogance: "you have X of resource, AND IT'S ALL MINE!" And you have 30 such intents-to-munch competing.

- Most of the time, it's a massive overkill: case in point, Slack: 2 billion bytes of RAM to show a chatroom, i.e. a few thousand bytes of mostly text? EXCUSE ME?!

- Apart from that, and the overhead of bundling and running a separate browser for each app, with all the issues it entails, the theoretical idea of desktop-web apps is quite appealing, as opposed to its actual implementations. For prototypes, excellent; don't shove prototypes to production though, that passes the buck onto end users.

I have built a major app in HTA (way before Electron, similar in principle). 1*, would not build again: easy to build, and that's about it.


Electron hate is an entry in the genre, "modern software is inefficient and bloated because devs are lazy"

This genre will never want for new entries because, devs will keep getting things done and critics will keep complaining.

Electron hate is a moral argument, "devs are wasteful." It's not a technical argument. People confuse their ability to conceive of software which has the same behavior as shipped software, but improves on arbitrary figures of merit, excepting "date of RTM."


Modern software is inefficient because this is a cost-effective approach to building software. Wherever you can't pretend you have infinite resources, this attitude instantly evaporates. In other words, bloat matters to users, but not to whoever directs development (spoiler: that's rarely developers).



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