Electron vs F#: What are the differences?
Electron and F# are primarily classified as "Cross-Platform Desktop Development" and "Languages" tools respectively.
"Easy to make rich cross platform desktop applications" is the top reason why over 50 developers like Electron, while over 40 developers mention "Pattern-matching" as the leading cause for choosing F#.
Electron and F# are both open source tools. It seems that Electron with 74.4K GitHub stars and 9.72K forks on GitHub has more adoption than F# with 2.08K GitHub stars and 341 GitHub forks.
According to the StackShare community, Electron has a broader approval, being mentioned in 213 company stacks & 366 developers stacks; compared to F#, which is listed in 18 company stacks and 16 developer stacks.
What is Electron?
What is F#?
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The Slack desktop app was originally written us the MacGap framework, which used Apple’s WebView to host web content inside of a native app frame. As this approach continued to present product limitations, Slack decided to migrate the desktop app to Electron. Electron is a platform that combines the rendering engine from Chromium and the Node.js runtime and module system. The desktop app is written as a modern ES6 + async/await React application.
For the desktop app, Slack takes a hybrid approach, wherein some of the assets ship as part of the app, but most of their assets and code are loaded remotely.
Slack's new desktop application was launched for macOS. It was built using Electron for a faster, frameless look with a host of background improvements for a superior Slack experience. Instead of adopting a complete-in-box approach taken by other apps, Slack prefers a hybrid approach where some of the assets are loaded as part of the app, while others are made available remotely. Slack's original desktop app was written using the MacGap v1 framework using WebView to host web content within the native app frame. But it was difficult to upgrade with new features only available to Apple's WKWebView and moving to this view called for a total application rewrite.
Electron brings together Chromium's rendering engine with the Node.js runtime and module system. The new desktop app is now based on an ES6 + async/await React application is currently being moved gradually to TypeScript. Electron functions on Chromium's multi-process model, with each Slack team signed into a separate process and memory space. It also helps prevent remote content to directly access desktop features using a feature called WebView Element which creates a fresh Chromium renderer process and assigns rendering of content for its hosting renderer. Additional security can be ensured by preventing Node.js modules from leaking into the API surface and watching out for APIs with file paths. Communication between processes on Electron is carried out via electron-remote, a pared-down, zippy version of Electron's remote module, which makes implementing the web apps UI much easier.
Visual Studio Code worked really well for us as well, it worked well with all our polyglot services and the .Net core integration had great cross-platform developer experience (to be fair, F# was a bit trickier) - actually, each of our team members used a different OS (Ubuntu, macos, windows). Our production deployment ran for a time on Docker Swarm until we've decided to adopt Kubernetes with almost seamless migration process.
After our positive experience of running .Net core workloads in containers and developing Tweek's .Net services on non-windows machines, C# had gained back some of its popularity (originally lost to Node.js), and other teams have been using it for developing microservices, k8s sidecars (like https://github.com/Soluto/airbag), cli tools, serverless functions and other projects...
I've used .NET for many years, but only in recent years, after Microsoft introduced .NET Core, I've found a new love and excitement for the technology again. The main driver for us using .NET Core is not that it is cross platform compatible, open source or blazingly fast (which it is!), but the fact that we can use (what we consider) the best programming languages (mainly F# and C#) to carry out our jobs without sacrificing the other benefits.
Today we run most of our web infrastructure on .NET Core in Docker containers, deployed into a Kubernetes cluster which spans across multiple time zones in the Google Cloud and we couldn't be happier. Due to the portability of the .NET Core platform we are even able to develop many new services as serverless functions with F# which has become an absolute game changer.
Our application began as an HTML5 browser game, however we decided to leverage certain native parts of desktop applications by wrapping our client code into Electron. This also allowed us to not have to worry about compatibility across all the various browsers.
Our Web Applications are served on our Desktops by Electron. This allows us to have native apps running on our Workstations without having too many Browser Tabs open at the same time.
Electron is the current preferred method to convert games made in the Game Pencil Editor for desktop support.
Implement a web-service using your favorite tools but sell a desktop application for oblivious windows users.
Used Electron to package single page web application as a desktop application.