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Electron vs Sciter: What are the differences?

Electron and Sciter are both frameworks used for building desktop applications, but they differ in several key aspects.

  1. Cross-platform compatibility: Electron is renowned for its ability to create cross-platform applications as it is based on web technologies, namely HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. On the other hand, Sciter is also cross-platform compatible, but it relies on native technologies and doesn't require a specific runtime environment like Electron does. This difference enables Sciter-based applications to have a smaller file size and faster startup time.

  2. Performance: Electron applications tend to have slower performance compared to Sciter applications because of the added layer of the Chromium browser engine. Although Electron allows access to native APIs, it requires more resources and can be sluggish in certain scenarios. In contrast, Sciter uses a lightweight rendering engine that results in faster performance and a smaller memory footprint.

  3. Distribution and installation: Electron apps are packaged and distributed as standalone packages containing a full Chromium browser engine. This means users need to download and install a large package to run the application. On the other hand, Sciter applications are much smaller in size and can be distributed as a couple of files, making installation and distribution easier, especially for users with limited bandwidth.

  4. Native look and feel: Electron applications, being web-based, often lack the native look and feel of different platforms. The interface may differ from the native system's UI elements, resulting in a less cohesive user experience. In contrast, Sciter applications are specifically designed to adapt to the native look and feel of the target platform, resulting in a more seamless and consistent user experience.

  5. JavaScript runtime: Electron utilizes the V8 JavaScript engine, which is known for its speed and performance. Sciter, however, uses its own native implementation of JavaScript, which enables it to have better control and integration with the rendering engine. This can be advantageous for certain types of applications that rely heavily on JavaScript functionalities.

  6. UI customization: Electron provides a greater level of UI customization via web technologies such as CSS and HTML, allowing developers to achieve more complex and visually appealing interfaces. Sciter, on the other hand, offers a simpler UI customization approach through its native API, which may be more suitable for applications with specific design requirements.

In summary, Electron offers cross-platform compatibility and extensive UI customization capabilities but sacrifices performance, distribution size, and native look and feel. Sciter, on the other hand, prioritizes performance, smaller distribution size, and native look and feel while offering a simpler UI customization approach.

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Pros of Electron
Pros of Sciter
  • 69
    Easy to make rich cross platform desktop applications
  • 53
    Open source
  • 14
    Great looking apps such as Slack and Visual Studio Code
  • 8
    Because it's cross platform
  • 4
    Use Node.js in the Main Process
  • 4
    Good for commercial projects
  • 4
    Cross platform apps
  • 4
    Faster than ElectronJS
  • 4
    Small bundle size
  • 4
    Use C++ API

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Cons of Electron
Cons of Sciter
  • 18
    Uses a lot of memory
  • 8
    User experience never as good as a native app
  • 4
    No proper documentation
  • 4
    Does not native
  • 1
    Each app needs to install a new chromium + nodejs
  • 1
    Wrong reference for dom inspection
  • 2
    Ultralight si lo es,aunque hay módulos comerciales
  • 1
    No es open source
  • 1
    Close source project
  • 1
    Less/bad documentation
  • 1
    Doesn't support Javascript

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What is Electron?

With Electron, creating a desktop application for your company or idea is easy. Initially developed for GitHub's Atom editor, Electron has since been used to create applications by companies like Microsoft, Facebook, Slack, and Docker. The Electron framework lets you write cross-platform desktop applications using JavaScript, HTML and CSS. It is based on io.js and Chromium and is used in the Atom editor.

What is Sciter?

It brings a stack of web technologies to desktop UI development. Web designers, and developers, can reuse their experience and expertise in creating modern looking desktop applications.

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    What are some alternatives to Electron and Sciter?
    The fastest way to build beautiful Electron apps using simple HTML and CSS. Underneath it all is Electron. Originally built for GitHub's Atom text editor, Electron is the easiest way to build cross-platform desktop applications.
    React Native Desktop
    Build OS X desktop apps using React Native.
    React Native
    React Native enables you to build world-class application experiences on native platforms using a consistent developer experience based on JavaScript and React. The focus of React Native is on developer efficiency across all the platforms you care about - learn once, write anywhere. Facebook uses React Native in multiple production apps and will continue investing in React Native.
    Lots of people use React as the V in MVC. Since React makes no assumptions about the rest of your technology stack, it's easy to try it out on a small feature in an existing project.
    JavaScript is most known as the scripting language for Web pages, but used in many non-browser environments as well such as node.js or Apache CouchDB. It is a prototype-based, multi-paradigm scripting language that is dynamic,and supports object-oriented, imperative, and functional programming styles.
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