There is an ongoing and absurd trend from some groups of web developers to build their desktop applications using web technologies, of which Electron is the main vector. I get the web is an easy target for the hurried, the lazy or the single-tool developers who think hammering out a cross-platform app is only possible with the HTML+CSS+JS triplet. There is absolutely no excuse to go so low as to embed an entire web browser where there are better choices.
Electron Apps are Inefficient
But it’s not only about memory usage. Another important factor, specially for mobile users is energy efficiency. These monstrosities are comparatively less energy-efficient than their native counterparts. I don’t know what are they really doing in the background, but they sport lots of active threads. I suspect there is some Node.js crap involved.
A Plea to Build Better Software
I get that building cross-platform software is hard and developers need to find a cheap and convenient solution, sometimes even at the expense of their users. But does that solution need to be the worst of all? Because once you start that path you are stuck with your choice and it’s really hard to shave that yak.
I built FreelanceStation as a native macOS app, using Swift and Cocoa. Had I decided to develop for Windows only, I would probably had picked C# with WPF or UWP. Now if I had to develop a cross-platform app, Qt5 would have been the obvious choice. Some of the best desktop software I have used was built with native frameworks or Qt.
I can think of only one reason a developer would pick Electron, and that would be to port their web app to the desktop. But what’s the point if you still need a server? For the rest of the apps, just do your users a favour and develop your apps with better technologies.
Kindly, a user.