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Eel vs Electron Toolkit: What are the differences?

Introduction

Eel and Electron Toolkit are two popular frameworks used for building web applications. While they share some similarities, there are also significant differences between them. In this article, we will explore the key differences between Eel and Electron Toolkit.

  1. Architecture: Eel is a Python library that allows you to create a graphical user interface (GUI) for your web applications by embedding a Chromium browser. On the other hand, Electron Toolkit is a framework that enables you to build cross-platform desktop applications using web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The key difference here is that Eel is mainly focused on creating GUIs for Python applications, while Electron Toolkit is designed for creating standalone desktop applications.

  2. Programming Languages: Eel primarily uses Python for application development. It allows you to interact with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript using Python code. On the other hand, Electron Toolkit supports multiple programming languages, including JavaScript, TypeScript, and HTML/CSS. This flexibility in programming languages can be more beneficial for developers who are already comfortable with web technologies.

  3. Platform Support: Eel is primarily targeted towards Windows and Linux platforms, although it also works on macOS to some extent. In contrast, Electron Toolkit is truly cross-platform and supports Windows, macOS, and Linux equally. If you need your application to run on different operating systems without major modifications, Electron Toolkit provides a significant advantage.

  4. Size and Performance: Eel utilizes a lightweight approach by embedding a tiny version of the Chromium browser. This results in smaller bundle sizes and quicker startup times compared to Electron Toolkit. However, Electron Toolkit provides a more feature-rich environment for building desktop applications, which can lead to better performance and user experience in the long run.

  5. Integration with Native APIs: Electron Toolkit offers deeper integration with native APIs, allowing developers to access native features of the operating system directly from their web applications. This level of integration makes it easier to create applications that closely resemble native applications. Eel, on the other hand, does not provide direct access to native APIs, as it mainly focuses on enabling interactions between Python and web technologies.

  6. Development Community and Ecosystem: Electron Toolkit has a larger and more mature development community and ecosystem compared to Eel. It benefits from the popularity and extensive usage of JavaScript and web technologies. This means that you can find more resources, libraries, and tools readily available for Electron Toolkit development, making it easier to build and maintain your applications.

Summary

In summary, Eel is a Python library for creating GUIs for web applications, while Electron Toolkit is a framework that allows you to build cross-platform desktop applications using web technologies. Eel offers a lightweight approach with Python integration, while Electron Toolkit provides a more feature-rich environment with native API access and a larger development community.

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What is Eel?

Python3 library for making simple Electron-like offline HTML/JS GUI apps, with full access to Python capabilities and libraries. It hosts a local webserver, then lets you annotate functions in Python so that they can be called from Javascript, and vice versa.

What is Electron Toolkit?

GUI for Electron - package and built your app.

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