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README.md

THIS REPO IS DEPRECATED

This repo represents the "old way" of creating and publishing Electron applications, based on Atom's build process - while this way still works and there are still some good ideas in this repo, it's actually far easier to use electron-prebuilt and electron-packager to get started.

Electron Starter App

electron-starter is a base application that you can use to get started writing your own cross-platform (Win/Mac/Linux) Desktop apps via Electron. This template is extracted from the Atom source code, cleaned up to be more generic, and to be a great starting point for a production app.

Getting Started

Everything in Electron Starter is configured via the package.json file - there are some extra fields that are of interest:

  • name - The name for your app that will be used in the build tools. Make it something simple.
  • productName - The name of your product - your executable will be called this (i.e. "MyApp.app")

The default project is called EightOhEight (get it? Cause it's a sample(r)).

Once you've set that up, do:

  1. script/bootstrap - Run this once per checkout.
  2. script/build - Run this whenever you change package.json or change early startup code
  3. script/run - Run the app. Use this for running the app in developer mode

Another useful script is script/grunt, which will run the local version of Grunt. script/grunt --help will tell you the list of available tasks.

Using JavaScript ES6

JavaScript ES6 / ESNext is available via the Babel project for almost all files except for very early in startup. To use it, add 'use babel'; to the top of your file. Check out https://babeljs.io for more information.

What's the "browser" vs "renderer" code?

Electron has (at least) two separate contexts - when your app first starts up, it is running in a DOM-less node.js loop - there are no windows. This is called the Browser context. The built-in code proceeds to start up a BrowserWindow object, which then creates a Rendering context, which is what you are more used to - it's got the Chrome DevTools and a DOM, yet it can still use node.js, as well as several Electron APIs that are made available. Check out the documentation for Electron for more about what you can do.

Most of your app's code should ideally live in the Rendering context, because the Browser context is difficult to debug and test - there is no Chrome DevTools, solely printf-based debugging.

Why does $MY_FAVORITE_LIBRARY not work / do weird stuff?

Some JavaScript libraries try to detect whether they're in node.js via probing for module or require, and assume that they aren't in a browser. You might find that you need to patch these libraries to always operate in Browser Mode.