Why Does Electron Exist?

Stephen Grider
A free video tutorial from Stephen Grider
Engineering Architect
4.7 instructor rating • 29 courses • 750,768 students

Learn more from the full course

Electron for Desktop Apps: The Complete Developer's Guide

Use the Electron Framework to build compelling cross platform desktop applications with the latest web dev technologies

07:55:08 of on-demand video • Updated February 2021

  • Learn how to make native-feeling applications using web development technologies
  • Master the intricacies of development with Electron JS
  • Build applications that work well on both MacOS and Windows from a single codebase
  • Develop both traditional single-window apps and status tray-based apps
  • Understand how to integrate existing technologies like React and Redux into your Electron JS apps
  • Build a lucrative business with desktop apps, because there is so little competition in the marketplace
English [Auto] We'll get started with our first project very soon. But before we do I want to make sure that you have a solid grasp of what an electron is. Why we use it and what some of the advantages of using it are. So first what is electron. What does it really doing for us. So let me give you a plain simple English definition. An electron is a platform for writing desktop apps. By using tools languages and Design Patterns traditionally used for creating rich Web rich apps on the web. So you might ask yourself well why might we want to use web technology for building desktop applications. And that's a really good question. I can it cuts right to the heart of the matter. So let's do a little bit of background and figure out why we might want to use web technology for building desktop apps. Over the last 10 years or so we've seen an explosion in the complexity of applications created for use online. So there's applications like Facebook linked in Google inbox Google Maps and a multitude of other products that are incredibly complex pieces of software working inside of your browser. Over time we've begun to replace traditional desktop applications with complex web applications instead with locations have some market benefits over traditional desktop apps which were definitely in discuss a little bit more on later at some point in time. Someone said Gee working with these complex web apps sure seems to make life a bit easier in some regards or more convenient. If nothing else than producing complicated desktop applications so why don't we just use the web for everything that we do. And so that attitude has led to this increase in complex web applications. There is one very strong technical shortcoming to running applications in your web browser however. So they're not a catchall it's not a perfect solution per say. All these applications that run in your browser whenever you use your browser to go to some fancy web site are all limited to executing inside the context of the browser which places some strict limitations on a Web site's ability to access the user's underlying operating system. So this means that certain methods of input and output are constrained in the browser. So Google dot com right here or Linked-In dotcom or Facebook Dotcom for example it can't access your hard drive you can access a lot of lower level features of your operating system. So desktop apps aren't entirely out of the equation just yet. There's still a need for desktop apps for some types of applications. And so we're left with electron electron allows us to build web sites that run on a user's machine with a higher level of operating system access than traditional web sites. But they still retain a lot of the benefits of web technology such as speed of development and familiar tooling. Okay. So that's my soft intro to electron. But mostly it's a lot of marketing buzzwords and mumbo jumbo like that that doesn't really tell you a lot about what's going on behind the scenes. So let's take a quick break and then we're going to come back and start diving into the technical aspects of electron. So I'll see in just a second.