Electron newsletter issue 3, April
Electron Newsletter
Issue 4 – 06 June 2019view web version

 

Welcome to the May/June edition of the Electron newsletter!
...okay okay, the May edition of the newsletter was delayed so much that I decided to just pretend it's a double-month feature. In some ways it is, because I saved up the news from last month as well. My excuse is that I was super busy launching Polypane. This month, I interview Lola Rigaut-Luczak, the co-founder of Update.rocks. Anyway, here's your Electron news:
Articles
Electron release cadence
The Electron team is committing to releasing a new major version of Electron Every 12 weeks. That's pretty big! It means you'll get the latest Chromium rendering engine capabilities more quickly, and sometimes even sooner than Google Chrome itself!
Electron 5 release
Speaking of releases, Electron 5 got released at the end of April and it has a huge bump in Chromium (69 to 73), Node (10 to 12) and V8 (6.9 to 7.3) That's a ton of improvements and fixes. Read more on the blog.
How The Guardian uses Electron
This is quite a technical article on the how and why of building an "Editorial Production" application using Electron at The Guardian. They use it to link up a bunch of Adobe tools and browser-based tools to create their editorial workflow. Really interesting.
How we built a Linux desktop app with Electron
Here's an article by the creators of Tutanota, a secure open source email service, on how they built their desktop client for linux using Electron.
macOS signing your Electron app with Travis
If you come from a web development background, things like building and signing your app can feel like arcane magic. Lola from Update.rocks walks you through the process of setting this up in an automated fashion.
Notarizing your Electron application
I spent the last few weeks figuring out how to properly notarize an Electron app for macOS 10.14.5 and made some pull requests in the process. I wrote down all the steps required in this how-to article.
Tools
Luna
GUI desktop manager for handling npm dependencies.
Node-dbus-next
Perhaps a little nerdy, but DBus is the way apps communicate with each other on Linux systems. This library makes it easy to hook into that for Electron apps.
Apps
Webcodesk — A rapid development tool for React Applications
Polypane Sponsored — A browser built from the ground up to create and test websites and apps.
ProjectVoyager — A new and universal file manager
Awiki — A Zim inspired wiki with markdown Syntax
Interview with Lola Rigaut-Luczak
Lola co-founded Update.rocks with her friend Felix, an auto update service for Electron that's free for open source projects. She tweets at @Lola_Dam.
How did you get involved with Electron?
I was really interested in Webtorrent and discovered their desktop application was using Electron. I thought I would give it a go too and started my first Electron project.
Can you tell us about your first Electron project, what did you build and how did it go?
It was for a payment system in Bitcoin. I wanted a destkop app so people could follow how much were sent to their account (PassWallet) The difficult part was more on the public key generation part than Electron really. Electron make it easy as I didnt want to deal with Qt (I have a really bad souvenir of a project for university where we had to us Qt)
What do you enjoy most about working with Electron?
That my knowledge in web can be transfered to create a desktop application. Also there is a huge community around this project so you can find any tools you need.
Any favorite electron modules/packages that you recommend others to check out?
Electron forge they definitely make it more easy the all process of creating your application. I am using it in every project now.
And what would you like to work better/improve?
Native modules! I still have an issue open about that...
Do you have any cool links you want to share?
How to make your electron app sexy. This article helped me started on my first electron app. I think it is still relevant today.
What made you start Update.rocks?
I did some freelance work on Electron projects for clients. We either had to setup our own server which takes time and I was charging for that. Or they said that they didn't want it for now... I believe auto-update is really important for your product and help you go forward by always shipping new features and fixing bugs. It should be available in your first release. That's why we started Update.rocks, we take away this burden and you can focus on your app.
Whats a fun fact about you?
Before I had ever heard about Electron, I was talking with one of my superiors about the 'come back' of desktop applicationd. I remember him saying that now we are coming back to it and me answering that developers would hardly leave their web language and tools. Neither of us knew about Electron and it was only a couple of months later that Atom was released. Not really a fun fact but a true story and it is also kind of why I got interested in Electron because of this specific discussion with my mentor.
That's it for the May/June edition of the Electron newsletter! Thanks to all of you for subscribing. See you next month!
 

 

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