Electron Apps Are Bad, So Now You Can Create Desktop Apps With HTML5 + Golang
Written by Michael Larabel in Desktop on 9 February 2019 at 06:52 AM EST. 48 Comments
DESKTOP --
The Electron software framework that allows creating desktop GUI application interfaces using JavaScript and relies upon a bundled Chromium+Node.js run-time is notorious among most Linux desktop users for being resource heavy, not integrating well with most desktops, and generally being despised. For those that are fond of using web standards for creating desktop GUIs, now there is a way to create desktop application front-ends using HTML5 and Golang but with less baggage.

Developer Serge Zaitsev presented at FOSDEM 2019 last weekend in Brussels about his work on the Webview and Lorca libraries. These libraries allow building modern desktop applications within the Go programming language while writing the interfaces in HTML5.

Lorca allows building cross-platform modern desktop applications with HTML5 and Golang. Lorca relies upon Chrome/Chromium for its UI layer, but doesn't bundle its own version thus allowing the system browser to be re-used. Compared to the likes of Electron, Lorca aims to be much lighter weight, supports calling arbitrary JavaScript code from within Go, and other features to put it roughly at feature parity with Electron.

Webview meanwhile is lower-level and just about presenting application user interfaces in browser-based windows. Webview also supports C and C++ in addition to Golang and also exposes bindings for other languages like Rust and Haskell. This library supports not only Chrome/Chromium but also working on Windows' MSHTML and other WebKit coverage.

Those curious about combining HTML5 with Golang for desktop apps can learn more via this slide deck (PDF) from FOSDEM as well as the WebM session recording.
About The Author
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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