Electron (software framework)

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Electron
Electron Software Framework Logo.svg
Electron 17.1.2 screenshot.png
Original author(s)GitHub
Developer(s)OpenJS Foundation
Initial release15 July 2013; 9 years ago (2013-07-15)[1]
Stable release
19.0.8[2] Edit this on Wikidata / 7 July 2022; 34 days ago (7 July 2022)
Preview release
19.0.0-beta.4[3] Edit this on Wikidata / 5 May 2022; 3 months ago (5 May 2022)
Repository
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 a free and open-source software framework developed and maintained by GitHub.[6] The framework is designed to create desktop applications using web technologies (mainly HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, though other technologies such as frontend frameworks and Web Assembly are possible) which are rendered using a flavor of the Chromium browser engine, and a backend using the Node.js runtime environment.[7] Additionally, it also uses various APIs to allow things such as native integration with Node services, and an Inter-process communication module.

It was originally built for Atom.[5] Electron is the main GUI framework behind several open-source projects including Atom, GitHub Desktop, Light Table,[8] Visual Studio Code, Evernote,[9] WordPress Desktop,[10] and Eclipse Theia.[11]

Architecture[edit]

Electron applications comprise multiple processes. There is the "main" process and several "renderer" processes. The main process runs the logic for the application (e. g. menus, shell commands, lifecycle events), and can then launch multiple renderer processes by instantiating an instance of the BrowserWindow class, which loads a window that appears on a user's screen rendering HTML and CSS.

Both the main and renderer processes can run with Node.js integration if the nodeIntegration field in the main process is set to true

Most of Electron's APIs are written in C++ or Objective-C and then exposed directly to the application code through JavaScript bindings.[12]

History[edit]

In September 2021, Electron moved to an 8 week release cycle between major versions to match the release cycle of Chromium Extended Stable and to comply with a new requirement from the Microsoft Store that requires browser-based apps to be within 2 major versions of the latest release of the browser engine.[13]

Electron actively supports the latest three stable major versions.[14] From September 2021 to May 2022, four major versions were temporarily supported due to the change in release cycles.

Version history
Release Status Release date End of life date Chromium version Node.js version Module version N-API version ICU version
Latest preview version of a future release: v20.x.y Alpha ? ? ? ? ? ? ?
Current stable version: v19.x.y Current 2022-05-24[15] ? 102 16.14 106 ? ?
Older version, yet still maintained: v18.x.y Active 2022-03-29[16] ? 100 16.13 103 ? ?
Older version, yet still maintained: v17.x.y Active 2022-01-31[17] ? 98 16.13 101 ? ?
Old version, no longer maintained: v16.x.y End-of-Life 2021-11-15[18] 2022-05-24[15] 96 16.9 99 ? ?
Old version, no longer maintained: v15.x.y End-of-Life 2021-09-21 2022-05-24[15] 94 16.5 98 ? ?
Old version, no longer maintained: v14.x.y End-of-Life 2021-08-30 2022-03-29[16] 92 14.17 89 8 69.1
Old version, no longer maintained: v13.x.y End-of-Life 2021-05-25 2022-01-31[17] 91 14.16 89 7 68.1
Old version, no longer maintained: v12.0.x End-of-Life 2021-03-02 2021-11-15[18] 89 14.16 87 7 68.1
Old version, no longer maintained: v11.4.x End-of-Life 2020-11-16 2021-08-30 87 12.18 85 5 65.1
Old version, no longer maintained: v10.4.x End-of-Life 2020-08-25 2021-05-25 85 12.16 82 5 65.1
Old version, no longer maintained: v9.4.x End-of-Life 2020-05-18 2021-03-02 83 12.14 80 5 65.1
Old version, no longer maintained: v8.3.x End-of-Life 2020-02-04 2020-11-16 80 12.13 76 5 65.1
Old version, no longer maintained: v7.3.x End-of-Life 2019-10-22 2020-08-25 78 12.8 75 4 64.2
Old version, no longer maintained: v6.1.x End-of-Life 2019-07-29 2020-05-18 76 12.4 73 4 64.2
Old version, no longer maintained: v5.1.x End-of-Life 2019-04-24 2020-02-04 73 12.0 70 4 63.1
Old version, no longer maintained: v4.2.x End-of-Life 2018-12-20 2019-10-22 69 10.11 69 3 62.2
Old version, no longer maintained: v3.1.x End-of-Life 2018-09-18 2019-07-29 66 10.2 64 3 ?
Old version, no longer maintained: v2.0.x End-of-Life 2018-05-01 2019-04-24 61 8.9 57 ? ?
Old version, no longer maintained: v1.8.x End-of-Life 2017-12-12 2018-12-20 59 8.2 57 ? ?

Software using Electron[edit]

Desktop applications built with Electron include Atom,[19] balenaEtcher,[20] Eclipse Theia,[11] Microsoft Teams,[21] Slack[22] and Visual Studio Code.[23][24]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "electron/electron". GitHub. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Release Notes for v19.0.8". 7 July 2022. Retrieved 11 July 2022.
  3. ^ "electron v19.0.0-beta.4". 5 May 2022. Retrieved 10 June 2022.
  4. ^ "electron/LICENSE at master". GitHub. Retrieved 3 July 2020.
  5. ^ a b Sawicki, Kevin (23 April 2015). "Atom Shell is now Electron". Electron. Archived from the original on 9 November 2017. Retrieved 6 January 2022.
  6. ^ "electron/electron". GitHub. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Electron Internals: Using Node as a Library". electronjs.org. 8 August 2016. 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". GitHub. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  11. ^ a b "Theia - Cloud and Desktop IDE Platform". theia-ide.org. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  12. ^ "From native to JavaScript in Electron | Electron Blog". electronjs.org. 19 March 2019. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  13. ^ "New Electron Release Cadence | Electron". electronjs.org. 14 July 2021.
  14. ^ "Electron Support | Electron". electronjs.org.
  15. ^ a b c "Release electron v19.0.0 · electron/electron". GitHub.
  16. ^ a b "Release electron v18.0.0 · electron/electron". GitHub.
  17. ^ a b "Release electron v17.0.0 · electron/electron". GitHub.
  18. ^ a b "Release electron v16.0.0 · electron/electron". GitHub.
  19. ^ Sawicki, Kevin (23 April 2015). "Atom Shell is now Electron". Electron. Archived from the original on 16 October 2019. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  20. ^ "Etcher on GitHub". GitHub. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  21. ^ msdmaguire. "How Microsoft Teams uses memory - Microsoft Teams". docs.microsoft.com. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  22. ^ "Building hybrid applications with Electron". Several People Are Coding. 25 October 2016. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  23. ^ Bright, Peter (29 April 2015). "Microsoft's new Code editor is built on Google's Chromium". Ars Technica. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  24. ^ "Open Source project". GitHub. 29 March 2022.

External links[edit]