Electron (software framework)

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Electron
Electron Software Framework Logo.svg
Electron 12.0.2 screenshot.png
Original author(s)GitHub
Developer(s)OpenJS Foundation
Initial release15 July 2013; 7 years ago (2013-07-15)[1]
Stable release
12.0.7[2] Edit this on Wikidata / 7 May 2021; 7 days ago (7 May 2021)
Preview release
13.0.0-beta.7[3] Edit this on Wikidata / 22 March 2021; 53 days ago (22 March 2021)
Repository Edit this at Wikidata
Written inC++, JavaScript, Objective-C++, Python and Objective-C
Operating systemLinux, macOS and Windows
PlatformIA-32, x86-64, ARM
LicenseMIT License[4]
Websitewww.electronjs.org Edit this at Wikidata

Electron (formerly known as Atom Shell[5]) is an open-source software framework developed and maintained by GitHub.[6] It allows for the development of desktop GUI applications using web technologies: it combines the Chromium rendering engine and the Node.js runtime.[7] Electron is the main GUI framework behind several open-source projects including Atom, GitHub Desktop, Light Table,[8] Visual Studio Code, Evernote,[9] and WordPress Desktop.[10]

Architecture[edit]

Electron applications are composed of multiple processes. There is the "main" process and several "renderer" processes. The main process runs the application logic, and can then launch multiple renderer processes, rendering the windows that appear on a user's screen rendering HTML and CSS.

Both the main and renderer processes can run with Node.js integration if enabled.

Most of Electron's APIs are written in C++ or Objective-C and then exposed directly to the application code through JavaScript bindings.[11]

Security[edit]

Because Electron applications are web applications running in the Chromium engine, they may be vulnerable to web-related attacks such as cross-site scripting attacks, through the same attack vectors as a browser (e.g. Chromium) or other internal components (Node.js) if using certain versions of Electron.[12] Examples of such vulnerabilities have been fixed in the 1.7.13, 1.8.4, and 2.0.0-beta.5 Electron releases.[13]

Criticism[edit]

Electron applications have been criticized for containing very significant overhead due to their Chromium dependency. Compared to native applications of similar functionality, Electron applications take up much more storage and RAM while being slower and providing a non-native user interface.[14][15] A few alternatives have been written to use an existing browser instead of bundling Chromium.[16]

Versions[edit]

Release Status Release date Chromium version Node.js version Module version N-API version ICU version
Future release: v13.0.x Beta TBD 91 14.16 89 7 68.1
Current stable version: v12.0.x Current 2021-03-02 89 14.16 87 7 68.1
Older version, yet still maintained: v11.3.x Active 2020-11-16 87 12.18 85 5 65.1
Older version, yet still maintained: v10.3.x Active 2020-08-25 85 12.16 82 5 65.1
Old version, no longer maintained: v9.4.x End-of-Life 2020-05-18 83 12.14 80 5 65.1
Old version, no longer maintained: v8.3.x End-of-Life 2020-02-04 80 12.13 76 5 65.1
Old version, no longer maintained: v7.3.x End-of-Life 2019-10-22 78 12.8 75 4 64.2
Old version, no longer maintained: v6.1.x End-of-Life 2019-07-29 76 12.4 73 4 64.2
Old version, no longer maintained: v5.1.x End-of-Life 2019-04-24 73 12.0 70 4 63.1
Old version, no longer maintained: v4.2.x End-of-Life 2018-12-20 69 10.11 69 3 62.2
Old version, no longer maintained: v3.1.x End-of-Life 2018-09-18 66 10.2 64 3 ?
Old version, no longer maintained: v2.0.x End-of-Life 2018-05-01 61 8.9 57 ? ?
Old version, no longer maintained: v1.8.x End-of-Life 2017-12-12 59 8.2 57 ? ?

Software using Electron[edit]

A number of desktop applications are built with Electron including:[17]

Offshoot[edit]

Electron.NET[edit]

On October 27, 2017, the community released a port called Electron.NET for the .NET Core framework. This is an open source project that enables native Electron APIs using the C# programming language. The .NET developer remains in their usual ecosystem, rather than using JavaScript.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "electron/electron". GitHub. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Release electron v12.0.7".
  3. ^ "Release electron v13.0.0-beta.7". Retrieved 24 March 2021.
  4. ^ "electron/LICENSE at master". GitHub. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  5. ^ Sawicki, Kevin (23 April 2015). "Atom Shell is now Electron". Atom. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  6. ^ "electron/electron". GitHub. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Electron Internals: Using Node as a Library". electronjs.org. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  8. ^ Horner, Gabriel (10 December 2015). "Light Table 0.8.0". lighttable.com. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  9. ^ Small, Ian (7 October 2020). "Introducing the New Evernote for Windows and Mac". I Programmer. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  10. ^ "GitHub Repository". Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  11. ^ "From native to JavaScript in Electron | Electron Blog". electronjs.org. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  12. ^ "Electron nodeIntegration Bypass". 10 May 2018.
  13. ^ "Webview Vulnerability Fix". 21 March 2018.
  14. ^ "Electron considered harmful". Drew DeVault's Blog. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  15. ^ Beyer, Casper. "Electron is Cancer". Commit Log. Medium. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  16. ^ RS, Sudhakar (8 October 2020). "electron-alternatives: Few Cross platform desktop GUI App development options are listed here". GitHub.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Apps". Electron. Retrieved 13 June 2020.
  18. ^ Sawicki, Kevin (23 April 2015). "Atom Shell is now Electron". Electron. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  19. ^ "CrashPlan for Small Business version 6.7". Code42 CrashPlan Release Notes. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  20. ^ "Etcher on GitHub". Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  21. ^ Haack, Phil (16 May 2017). "Announcing Git Integration for Atom and GitHub Desktop Beta". The GitHub Blog. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  22. ^ "Electron Helper and branding". techcommunity.microsoft.com. 20 May 2017. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  23. ^ "Joplin - Apps - Electron".
  24. ^ "Building hybrid applications with Electron". Several People Are Coding. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  25. ^ "symphonyoss/SymphonyElectron". GitHub. Retrieved 27 September 2018.
  26. ^ Bright, Peter (29 April 2015). "Microsoft's new Code editor is built on Google's Chromium". Ars Technica. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  27. ^ "Open Source project".
  28. ^ "wireapp/wire-desktop". GitHub. Retrieved 8 May 2018.

External links[edit]