Electron 5 Improves Packaged Apps
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Thursday, 02 May 2019

The latest release of Electron is available with upgraded versions of Chromium, Node.JS and V8. Electron 5 also improves the way packaged apps behave. Electron was originally known as Atom Shell as it was developed for GitHub's Atom text editor.

Electron is a framework for creating native applications with web technologies like JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. It combines Chromium and Node.js into a single runtime, and apps can be packaged for Mac, Windows, and Linux. Both Atom and Electron were open sourced in 2014.

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One main change to this release of Electron is that packaged apps will now behave the same as the default app. A default application menu will be created (unless the app has one) and the window-all-closed event will be automatically handled. (unless the app handles the event).

Another improvement is that mixed sandbox mode is now enabled by default. If you launch a renderer with the sandbox setting set to true, it will now be actually sandboxed. In previous releases such a renderer would only be sandboxed if mixed-sandbox mode was also enabled.

Elsewhere, the default values of nodeIntegration and webviewTag are now false to improve security, and the SpellCheck API has been changed to provide asynchronous results.

There are some other new and improved features, starting with the BrowserWindow feature, which now supports managing multiple BrowserViews within the same BrowserWindow.

The move to convert callback-based functions in Electron to return Promises continues. During this transition period, both the callback and Promise-based versions of these functions will work correctly, and will both be documented. In this release,12 APIs were converted to use promises, including several contentTracing APIs, a number of webContents APIs, and the Cookies API

The ability to work with system colors in the macOS has been improved with three functions being changed or added to systemPreferences.

To improve security in the remote API, new remote events have been added so that you can filter attempts to add new windows. The creation of new webcontents is a common attack vector. Attackers attempt to convince your app to create new windows, frames, or other renderer processes with more privileges than they had before; or with pages opened that they couldn't open before. The addition of filtering has been made to give you a way to counter this.

 

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More Information

Electron Website

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Electron 1.0 Released For Desktop Apps

Atom 1.5 Released 

Atom 1.1 Released

Atom 1.0 - GitHub's Hackable Editor Becomes Stable
Visual Studio Code - Now With Added Extensions

 

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