Electron
Original author(s)GitHub
Developer(s)OpenJS Foundation
Initial release15 July 2013; 9 years ago (2013-07-15)[1]
Stable release
1.7.6[2] Edit this on Wikidata / 9 August 2017; 11 October 2017; 24 September 2017; 17 July 2017; 11 October 2017; 28 September 2017; 25 May 2017; 16 May 2017; 10 May 2017; 1 May 2017; 18 April 2017; 7 April 2017; 31 March 2017; 1 March 2017; 21 February 2017; 5 April 2017; 19 January 2017; 10 January 2017; 20 December 2016; 10 December 2016; 7 December 2016; 28 November 2016; 22 November 2016; 16 November 2016; 9 November 2016; 1 November 2016; 20 October 2016; 6 October 2016; 30 September 2016; 22 September 2016; 15 September 2016; 21 April 2017; 14 March 2017; 6 December 2016; 28 November 2016; 22 November 2016; 16 November 2016; 20 October 2016; 27 September 2016; 15 September 2016; 2 September 2016; 23 August 2016; 10 August 2016; 2 August 2016; 27 July 2016; 25 July 2016; 21 July 2016; 13 July 2016; 6 July 2016; 23 June 2016; 22 June 2016; 16 June 2016; 8 June 2016; 1 June 2016; 26 May 2016; 25 May 2016; 24 May 2016; 20 May 2016; 14 May 2016; 13 May 2016; 11 May 2016; 11 May 2016; 29 April 2016; 22 April 2016; 15 April 2016; 7 April 2016; 3 April 2016; 27 March 2016; 14 March 2016; 13 March 2016; 12 March 2016; 27 March 2016; 11 March 2016; 5 March 2016; 26 February 2016; 19 February 2016; 30 January 2016; 29 January 2016; 22 January 2016; 15 January 2016; 11 January 2016; 25 December 2015; 18 December 2015; 11 December 2015; 11 January 2016; 31 December 2015; 4 December 2015; 4 December 2015; 27 November 2015; 20 November 2015; 16 November 2015; 26 November 2015; 24 November 2015; 18 December 2017; 22 January 2018; 23 January 2018; 31 January 2018; 31 January 2018; 7 February 2018; 6 March 2018; 15 March 2018; 22 May 2018; 12 December 2020; 21 December 2020; 13 January 2021; 20 February 2021; 2 March 2021; 3 March 2021; 10 March 2021; 24 March 2021; 13 April 2021; 1 May 2021; 7 May 2021; 25 May 2021; 16 July 2021; 4 August 2021; 10 August 2021; 17 August 2021; 18 August 2021; 31 August 2021; 13 September 2021; 1 October 2021; 4 October 2021; 8 October 2021; 14 October 2021; 20 October 2021; 8 November 2021; 15 November 2021; 15 November 2021; 18 November 2021; 24 November 2021; 30 November 2021; 2 December 2021; 16 December 2021; 3 January 2022; 11 January 2022; 11 January 2022; 27 January 2022; 1 February 2022; 15 February 2022; 24 February 2022; 30 March 2022; 5 April 2022; 6 April 2022; 14 April 2022; 20 April 2022; 28 April 2022; 4 May 2022; 24 May 2022; 3 June 2022; 9 June 2022; 21 June 2022; 23 June 2022; 1 July 2022; 7 July 2022; 25 August 2022; 5 October 2022; Error: first parameter cannot be parsed as a date or time. (9 August 2017; 11 October 2017; 24 September 2017; 17 July 2017; 11 October 2017; 28 September 2017; 25 May 2017; 16 May 2017; 10 May 2017; 1 May 2017; 18 April 2017; 7 April 2017; 31 March 2017; 1 March 2017; 21 February 2017; 5 April 2017; 19 January 2017; 10 January 2017; 20 December 2016; 10 December 2016; 7 December 2016; 28 November 2016; 22 November 2016; 16 November 2016; 9 November 2016; 1 November 2016; 20 October 2016; 6 October 2016; 30 September 2016; 22 September 2016; 15 September 2016; 21 April 2017; 14 March 2017; 6 December 2016; 28 November 2016; 22 November 2016; 16 November 2016; 20 October 2016; 27 September 2016; 15 September 2016; 2 September 2016; 23 August 2016; 10 August 2016; 2 August 2016; 27 July 2016; 25 July 2016; 21 July 2016; 13 July 2016; 6 July 2016; 23 June 2016; 22 June 2016; 16 June 2016; 8 June 2016; 1 June 2016; 26 May 2016; 25 May 2016; 24 May 2016; 20 May 2016; 14 May 2016; 13 May 2016; 11 May 2016; 11 May 2016; 29 April 2016; 22 April 2016; 15 April 2016; 7 April 2016; 3 April 2016; 27 March 2016; 14 March 2016; 13 March 2016; 12 March 2016; 27 March 2016; 11 March 2016; 5 March 2016; 26 February 2016; 19 February 2016; 30 January 2016; 29 January 2016; 22 January 2016; 15 January 2016; 11 January 2016; 25 December 2015; 18 December 2015; 11 December 2015; 11 January 2016; 31 December 2015; 4 December 2015; 4 December 2015; 27 November 2015; 20 November 2015; 16 November 2015; 26 November 2015; 24 November 2015; 18 December 2017; 22 January 2018; 23 January 2018; 31 January 2018; 31 January 2018; 7 February 2018; 6 March 2018; 15 March 2018; 22 May 2018; 12 December 2020; 21 December 2020; 13 January 2021; 20 February 2021; 2 March 2021; 3 March 2021; 10 March 2021; 24 March 2021; 13 April 2021; 1 May 2021; 7 May 2021; 25 May 2021; 16 July 2021; 4 August 2021; 10 August 2021; 17 August 2021; 18 August 2021; 31 August 2021; 13 September 2021; 1 October 2021; 4 October 2021; 8 October 2021; 14 October 2021; 20 October 2021; 8 November 2021; 15 November 2021; 15 November 2021; 18 November 2021; 24 November 2021; 30 November 2021; 2 December 2021; 16 December 2021; 3 January 2022; 11 January 2022; 11 January 2022; 27 January 2022; 1 February 2022; 15 February 2022; 24 February 2022; 30 March 2022; 5 April 2022; 6 April 2022; 14 April 2022; 20 April 2022; 28 April 2022; 4 May 2022; 24 May 2022; 3 June 2022; 9 June 2022; 21 June 2022; 23 June 2022; 1 July 2022; 7 July 2022; 25 August 2022; 5 October 2022)
Preview release
19.0.0-beta.4[3] Edit this on Wikidata / 5 May 2022; 6 months ago (5 May 2022)
Repository
Written inC++, JavaScript, Objective-C++ 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, WordPress Desktop,[9] and Eclipse Theia.[10]

Architecture

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.[11]

History

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.[12]

Electron actively supports the latest three stable major versions.[13] 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: v22.x.y Alpha ? ? 107 16.17 ? ? ?
Current stable version: v21.x.y Current 2022-09-26 ? 106 16.16 ? ? ?
Older version, yet still maintained: v20.x.y Active 2022-08-02 ? 104 16.15 ? ? ?
Older version, yet still maintained: v19.x.y Active 2022-05-24[14] ? 102 16.14 106 ? ?
Older version, yet still maintained: v18.x.y Active 2022-03-29[15] ? 100 16.13 103 ? ?
Older version, yet still maintained: v17.x.y Active 2022-01-31[16] ? 98 16.13 101 ? ?
Old version, no longer maintained: v16.x.y End-of-Life 2021-11-15[17] 2022-05-24[14] 96 16.9 99 ? ?
Old version, no longer maintained: v15.x.y End-of-Life 2021-09-21 2022-05-24[14] 94 16.5 98 ? ?
Old version, no longer maintained: v14.x.y End-of-Life 2021-08-30 2022-03-29[15] 92 14.17 89 8 69.1
Old version, no longer maintained: v13.x.y End-of-Life 2021-05-25 2022-01-31[16] 91 14.16 89 7 68.1
Old version, no longer maintained: v12.0.x End-of-Life 2021-03-02 2021-11-15[17] 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 ? ?

Reception

Main article: List of software using Electron

Desktop applications built with Electron include Atom,[18] balenaEtcher,[19] Eclipse Theia,[10] Microsoft Teams,[20] Slack[21] and Visual Studio Code.[22][23] Additionally, Brave Browser was based on Electron before it was rewritten to use Chromium directly.[24]

The most common criticism of Electron is that it necessitates software bloat when used for simple programs.[25] As a result, Michael Larabel has referred to the framework as "notorious among most Linux desktop users for being resource heavy, not integrating well with most desktops, and generally being despised".[26] Meanwhile, Joey Sneddon states that this tradeoff is sensible as Electron greatly lowers the cost of developing and maintaining cross-platform software.[27]

Researchers have shown that the large feature set of Electron can be hijacked by malicious software since it is accessed through plaintext JavaScript files.[28] Those who are concerned with the fact that Electron is not always based on the newest version of Chromium have recommended progressive web applications as an alternative.[29]

See also

References

  1. ^ "electron/electron". GitHub. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Release 1.7.6". 9 August 2017. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  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. ^ "GitHub Repository". GitHub. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  10. ^ a b "Theia - Cloud and Desktop IDE Platform". theia-ide.org. Retrieved 31 December 2021.
  11. ^ "From native to JavaScript in Electron | Electron Blog". electronjs.org. 19 March 2019. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  12. ^ "New Electron Release Cadence | Electron". electronjs.org. 14 July 2021.
  13. ^ "Electron Support | Electron". electronjs.org.
  14. ^ a b c "Release electron v19.0.0 · electron/electron". GitHub.
  15. ^ a b "Release electron v18.0.0 · electron/electron". GitHub.
  16. ^ a b "Release electron v17.0.0 · electron/electron". GitHub.
  17. ^ a b "Release electron v16.0.0 · electron/electron". GitHub.
  18. ^ Sawicki, Kevin (23 April 2015). "Atom Shell is now Electron". Electron. Archived from the original on 16 October 2019. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  19. ^ "Etcher on GitHub". GitHub. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  20. ^ msdmaguire. "How Microsoft Teams uses memory - Microsoft Teams". docs.microsoft.com. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  21. ^ "Building hybrid applications with Electron". Several People Are Coding. 25 October 2016. Retrieved 12 August 2017.
  22. ^ Bright, Peter (29 April 2015). "Microsoft's new Code editor is built on Google's Chromium". Ars Technica. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
  23. ^ "Open Source project". GitHub. 29 March 2022.
  24. ^ Singh, Jagmeet (3 January 2017). "People are now even doing machine learning in JavaScript". Open Source For U. Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  25. ^ Proven, Liam (19 November 2021). "Some FOSS gems: Franz, RamBox, Pidgin and more". The Register. Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  26. ^ Larabel, Michael (9 February 2019). "Electron Apps Are Bad, So Now You Can Create Desktop Apps With HTML5 + Golang". Phoronix. Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  27. ^ Sneddon, Joey (23 July 2017). "Seriously folks, Electron apps aren't that bad". OMG Ubuntu. Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  28. ^ Gallagher, Sean (7 August 2019). "Skype, Slack, other Electron based apps can be easily backdoored". Ars Technica. Retrieved 26 August 2022.
  29. ^ Hoffman, Chris (15 August 2019). "That native app is probably just an old web browser". How To Geek. Retrieved 26 August 2022.