Thank you for taking your time and writing this article. I really don’t want to be mean, but rather shed a different perspective on your point about Electron:
From a performance and technological point of view; fully agree Electron is in most cases not the best choice for desktop UIs. Though one of its huge benefits is the sharing of UI code. Most startups and companies do not have the budget to invest into a native desktop, web and mobile app. Especially when there are solutions to take over ~90% of your components across those platforms.
I think Discord, since it is/started as a startup went with those prerequisites, and nowadays do not want to “waste money” refactoring their whole desktop app. Clearly, the usage is not declining because of it, so why bother?
Also, take talent acquisition in account. Most developers are experienced with web based technologies. Electron is not vastly different to the browser, so as a company you will find talents out there like sand corns on a beach!
I know where you are coming from, and in a perfect world with unlimited resources Electron would not exist. Though business value is usually saying things otherwise.
Fair points and understandable. I love the output, and everything I do is for comments like these.
However, I do have the counterargument of "Should we build whole new UI tools to solve packaging or build tools specifically for quickly and efficiently building binaries and executables?"
I think that is up to your target audience.
So as an example;
I assume Discord is really meant for “Gamers” and not trying to being the market leader (yet?) in Voice Chat & Message communication. This audience, usually has a stable power connection & a good enough computer where more memory consumption does not have a huge impact & storage is also usually not an issue (typing this whilst glazing at my 2 HDDs and SSD)
Does it matter for a products like Skype? Hell yes! Skype is used by so many users, especially in third-world countries. Having a bloated Electron app would definitely hurt the user experience for people who can’t afford the latest and greatest. Hell, even my Grandma uses Skype, and she really does not have a Razor Laptop (yet?😆). I think an Electron version of Skype would just cut off a huge portion of their users in an instant.
So I think it boils down to; if accessibility of your software is a tremendous factor, then you must write efficient software (= not use Electron)
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