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Electron

7.5K
6.7K
+ 1
136
PhantomJS

554
378
+ 1
18
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Electron vs PhantomJS: What are the differences?

What is Electron? Build cross platform desktop apps with web technologies. Formerly known as Atom Shell, made by GitHub. With Electron, creating a desktop application for your company or idea is easy. Initially developed for GitHub's Atom editor, Electron has since been used to create applications by companies like Microsoft, Facebook, Slack, and Docker. The Electron framework lets you write cross-platform desktop applications using JavaScript, HTML and CSS. It is based on io.js and Chromium and is used in the Atom editor.

What is PhantomJS? Scriptable Headless WebKit. PhantomJS (www.phantomjs.org) is a headless WebKit scriptable with JavaScript. It is used by hundreds of developers and dozens of organizations for web-related development workflow.

Electron belongs to "Cross-Platform Desktop Development" category of the tech stack, while PhantomJS can be primarily classified under "Headless Browsers".

Some of the features offered by Electron are:

  • Use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript with Chromium and Node.js to build your app.
  • Electron is open source
  • maintained by GitHub and an active community.

On the other hand, PhantomJS provides the following key features:

  • Multiplatform, available on major operating systems: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and other Unices.
  • Fast and native implementation of web standards: DOM, CSS, JavaScript, Canvas, and SVG. No emulation!
  • Pure headless (no X11) on Linux, ideal for continuous integration systems. Also runs on Amazon EC2, Heroku, and Iron.io.

"Easy to make rich cross platform desktop applications" is the top reason why over 50 developers like Electron, while over 12 developers mention "Scriptable web browser" as the leading cause for choosing PhantomJS.

Electron and PhantomJS are both open source tools. Electron with 74.9K GitHub stars and 9.81K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than PhantomJS with 26.9K GitHub stars and 5.7K GitHub forks.

Slack, Intuit, and InVisionApp are some of the popular companies that use Electron, whereas PhantomJS is used by Key Location, Indiegogo, and Tailor Brands. Electron has a broader approval, being mentioned in 221 company stacks & 374 developers stacks; compared to PhantomJS, which is listed in 77 company stacks and 47 developer stacks.

Advice on Electron and PhantomJS
Ankur Loriya
Needs advice
on
Puppeteer
and
PhantomJS

I am using Node 12 for server scripting and have a function to generate PDF and send it to a browser. Currently, we are using PhantomJS to generate a PDF. Some web post shows that we can achieve PDF generation using Puppeteer. I was a bit confused. Should we move to puppeteerJS? Which one is better with NodeJS for generating PDF?

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Replies (2)
Recommends
Puppeteer

You better go with puppeteer. It is basically chrome automation tool, written in nodejs. So what you get is PDF, generated by chrome itself. I guess there is hardly better PDF generation tool for the web. Phantomjs is already more or less outdated as technology. It uses some old webkit port that's quite behind in terms of standards and features. It can be replaced with puppeteer for every single task.

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Recommends
Puppeteer

I suggest puppeteer to go for. It is simple and easy to set up. Only limitaiton is it can be used only for chrome browser and currently they are looking into expanding into FF. The next thing is Playwright which is just a scale up of Puppeteer. It supports cross browsers.

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Pros of Electron
Pros of PhantomJS
  • 66
    Easy to make rich cross platform desktop applications
  • 50
    Open source
  • 11
    Great looking apps such as Slack and Visual Studio Code
  • 6
    Because it's cross platform
  • 3
    Use Node.js in the Main Process
  • 13
    Scriptable web browser
  • 3
    Depends on QT
  • 2
    No ECMAScript 6

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Cons of Electron
Cons of PhantomJS
  • 17
    Uses a lot of memory
  • 8
    User experience never as good as a native app
  • 4
    No proper documentation
  • 4
    Does not native
  • 1
    Each app needs to install a new chromium + nodejs
  • 1
    Wrong reference for dom inspection
    Be the first to leave a con

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    What is Electron?

    With Electron, creating a desktop application for your company or idea is easy. Initially developed for GitHub's Atom editor, Electron has since been used to create applications by companies like Microsoft, Facebook, Slack, and Docker. The Electron framework lets you write cross-platform desktop applications using JavaScript, HTML and CSS. It is based on io.js and Chromium and is used in the Atom editor.

    What is PhantomJS?

    PhantomJS (www.phantomjs.org) is a headless WebKit scriptable with JavaScript. It is used by hundreds of developers and dozens of organizations for web-related development workflow.

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    What companies use Electron?
    What companies use PhantomJS?
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    What tools integrate with Electron?
    What tools integrate with PhantomJS?

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    What are some alternatives to Electron and PhantomJS?
    Photon
    The fastest way to build beautiful Electron apps using simple HTML and CSS. Underneath it all is Electron. Originally built for GitHub's Atom text editor, Electron is the easiest way to build cross-platform desktop applications.
    React Native Desktop
    Build OS X desktop apps using React Native.
    React Native
    React Native enables you to build world-class application experiences on native platforms using a consistent developer experience based on JavaScript and React. The focus of React Native is on developer efficiency across all the platforms you care about - learn once, write anywhere. Facebook uses React Native in multiple production apps and will continue investing in React Native.
    React
    Lots of people use React as the V in MVC. Since React makes no assumptions about the rest of your technology stack, it's easy to try it out on a small feature in an existing project.
    JavaFX
    It is a set of graphics and media packages that enables developers to design, create, test, debug, and deploy rich client applications that operate consistently across diverse platforms.
    See all alternatives