Build desktop apps with Electron + Meteor.
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README.md

Electrometeor

Overview

Electrometeor combines Electron and Meteor to allow you to easily create desktop applications that work both 100% offline & online.

UPDATE: October 14th, 2015 - I have too many things going on in my life right now to really give Electrometeor support and development the time and attention it deserves. I am not stopping it, but I will most likely be unresponsive for some time. Thank you all. Sorry for the inconvenience!

Getting Started

Prerequisites

Mac & Linux
  • None
Windows
  • nvm-windows - A node.js version management utility for Windows.
  • Cygwin - Get that Linux feeling, on Windows (here is a good article on getting it setup)
  • Python (v2.7.3 recommended, v3.x.x is not supported)
  • Windows 7/8:
    • Microsoft Visual Studio C++ 2012/13 for Windows Desktop (Express version works well)

In order to get started, you'll need to clone this repo to <your-app> and run npm install

$ git clone git@github.com:sircharleswatson/Electrometeor.git <your-app>
$ cd <your-app>
$ npm install

(Note: You will also want to remove .git with the command: $ rm -rf .git)

Native Node Modules

The native Node modules are supported by Electron, but since Electron is using a different V8 version from official Node, you have to manually specify the location of Electron's headers when building native modules.

Because of this, you will need to run ./node_modules/.bin/electron-rebuild every time you run npm install. If you'd like to read more information you can check out the docs on using native node modules.

Electrometeor takes advatage of ShellJS to make writing cross-platform bash scripts easier (or .bat for you Windows folks). Once you've installed the npm dependencies, you can run the setup script with node.

$ node ./script/setup.js

When that's all done, you can run the app locally with the following command:

$ node ./script/run.js

Developing your Meteor application

While the run.js script is active, you should be able to see any changes you make to your Meteor app in much the same way you would if you were developing a web app. In fact, you can even navigate to http://localhost:3000 in your browser and you will see it there as well.

Development of your Meteor application is pretty much the same as usual. There are, however, some things you can do that you wouldn't normally be able to do with a web app. For example, you could use node-applescript on the Meteor server to create an iTunes controller.

Deploying your Meteor application

Mac & Linux

When you're ready, you can build your app for distribution by running node ./script/dist.js.

Windows

Windows is a special child and needs lots of attention. These are the steps I have had to do in order to use the dist.js script.

  1. Use the Visual Studio command prompt included with Microsoft Visual Studio C++ 2012/13
  2. Before running the script, you need to run nvm install 0.10.36
  3. Then use v0.10.36: nvm use 0.10.36
  4. Finally, run the script: node ./script/dist.js

The Windows version of node does not ship with the binaries so if you try to build for distribution with the wrong version of node, you will run into issues with Fibers and node-gyp. Let me know if you hit any snags in the build/dist process and I'll try to address them as soon as possible.

Working with Electron

In its current form, Electrometeor is meant to be very simple. If you wish to develop the Electron side of things further in your app, please refer to their wonderful docs.

Goals for Electrometeor

My goal for Electrometeor is to create the best desktop application boilerplate for Meteor developers. It's very simple at the moment, but I intend on adding more features that Electron has in place for easily integrating apps with the desktop.

Examples

If you use Electrometeor, please let me know and I will add your example here!

Electrometeor

Electrometeor

Electrometeor comes with a basic example to demonstrate the reactivity of Meteor. This is the same example provided in all Meteor applications, with minor modifications to demonstrate offline desktop functionality.

Need Help?

Right now, I do not know much about Electron specifically, but I can try to answer any questions you may have. I'm also available for any questions you may have regarding Meteor. You can contact me through Gitter in the Electrometeor room or via direct message. Or leave a comment on the Electrometeor Blog article.

Join the chat at https://gitter.im/sircharleswatson/Electrometeor

TODO

  • Linux Distribution Support
  • Windows Distribution Support
  • Menus
  • Use ShellJS instead of bash scripts.
    • setup.sh -> setup.js
    • run.sh -> run.js
    • dist.sh -> dist.js
    • colors.sh -> colors.js

Credits

Electrometeor is mostly made possible by reusing code from the Kitematic app. Also many thanks to GitHub for creating Electron and to MDG for all the work they do on Meteor