Electron 8 - First Release As OpenJS Foundation Incubator
Written by Alex Armstrong   
Friday, 07 February 2020

At the end of last year Electron joined the OpenJS Foundation as an incubator project. The release of Electron 8, less than two months later, is an indication that it is thriving in its new home. 

Initially developed for GitHub's Atom editor, Electron is a cross-platform desktop application development tool based on Node.js and Chromium enabling apps to be packaged for Mac, Windows, and Linux. Both Atom and Electron were open sourced in 2014.

News that Electron was joining the OpenJS Foundation was announced in December 2019 at the Node+JS Interactive conference held in Montreal. 


The OpenJS Foundation is the result of the merger of the Node.js Foundation and the JS Foundation with the aim of serving the JavaScript community and promoting collaboration across the JavaScript ecosystem.

As we reported in March 2019 when it was launched the OpenJS Foundation, was originally made up of 31 open source JavaScript projects including Appium, Dojo, jQuery, Node.js, and webpack. Google's open source AMP Framework joined in October 2019 and by that time the foundation had support from 30 corporate and end-user members, including GoDaddy, Google, IBM, Intel, Joyent, and Microsoft.

Felix Rieseberg, who works on Electron and desktop apps at Slack explained in December that  joining the OpenJS Foundation would not change how Electron is made, released, or used. He pointed out:

Even though Electron was originally created at GitHub in 2013, it is currently maintained by a number of organizations and individuals... We believe that having multiple organizations and developers investing in and collaborating on Electron makes the project stronger. Lifting Electron up from being owned by a single corporate entity and moving it into a neutral foundation focused on supporting the web and JavaScript ecosystem is a natural next step as we mature as an open-source project.

Electron 7 was been released at the end of October 2019 so little time has been lost on getting to the next major version. According to the blog post announcing the release, Electron 8.0.0 includes upgrades to Chromium 80, V8 8.0, and Node.js 12.13.0. Its highlight features are that it implements usage of  Chrome's built-in spellchecker features and IPC communication now uses v8's Structured Clone Algorithm. The developers comment:

This is faster, more featureful, and less surprising than the existing logic, and brings about a 2x performance boost for large buffers and complex objects. Latency for small messages is not significantly affected.

Breaking changes and API changes are listed in the blog post and more details are in Electron 8.0.0 Release Notes.




More Information

Electron Website

Electron joins the OpenJS Foundation

Electron 8.0.0 (Blog) 

Electron 8.0.0 Release Notes

Related Articles

OpenJS Foundation - New Merged Foundation For JavaScript

Electron 7 Adds Native Theme API 

Electron 4 Updates Chromium Support 

Electron 1.0 Released For Desktop Apps


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Last Updated ( Friday, 07 February 2020 )