What is Electron?
Sweet. Isn’t it? You may be wondering which hard parts?! Electron basically makes it easy to implement automatic updates, native menus and APIs, App Crash Reporting, Debugging of your app a lot easier which you won’t find in many similar solutions available in the market. Such as nw.js And when any project is backed by GitHub, you can use it with your eyes closed.
Getting started with building the app
My philosophy to learn a new technology is to take a real world idea and try to implement it with that particular technology. In this case, I have decided to build a simple Markdown Editor app which can do following:
- Show live preview of Markdown while writing the same
- Show the relevant HTML for Markdown
- Basic Markdown editing
- Support for GitHub Flavored Markdown
So, taking above requirements into account, I have started building it by first cloning theQuick Start repository
$ git clone https://github.com/electron/electron-quick-start
$ ren electron-quick-start electron-markdownify
$ cd electron-markdownify
$ npm install && npm start
This gave me the very basic structure of Electron and all the necessary node dependencies installed including the electron-prebuilt which is the heart of any electron app and the starts the very app itself!
The app’s folder structure contains a main.js file, an HTML file and package.json.
Here’s the package.json of the project which includes all the dependencies and devDependencies required for this project.
Electron basically runs two processes when running it : 1) Main Process 2) Renderer Process.
Next, To make it convenient to user to write Markdowns, I have used CodeMirror which is a web based code editor. This made writing Markdown easy and beautiful.
Further, as my app is a Markdown editor, I needed a Markdown parser which can convert the plain Markdown in to the HTML which can be previewed. So, I have used this awesome Markdown parser named marked. It has all the things I needed including GFM.
Combining all bits and pieces, I have been finally done with my original prototype. You can see the end product over here. It’s opensource. So, you can fork it, play with it and can make it your own.
Throughout this journey, I have explored many new things about desktop app development such as packaging and distributing the app, handling exceptions for different operating systems and so on.
The app is still in beta and I’m still learning Electron. The more I know about Electron, the more I fell in love with it. It sure is a future of desktop apps.
That’s all folks!
You can read original post here.