I’ll be honest, I hate the prevalence of Electron apps now. Bundling a stripped down chromium + a webapp is way overkill for a lot of the apps that take advantage of this approach, and it also ends up bringing a lot of the garbage tech and web bugs along with it.
I understand that it’s great for web developers to reuse their existing skills on desktop apps, but at the same time, it hurts users.
Where do you encounter such apps? I have no such app installed and the only one I know about is atom/vs code. What else is there?
Another popular Electron app is the Slack desktop client.
I can only agree with @worr’s sentiment - I’ve not used VS Code but I tried Atom for a few weeks last year and even on a fast 4C/8T i7 desktop with 16GB RAM and SSD it was horrible. It ate RAM like there was no tomorrow and the whole thing was laggy and sluggish. The Slack desktop client is much the same - it can quite easily eat 20% CPU doing absolutely nothing.
A common Emacs joke used to be that the name stood for “Eight Megs and Constantly Swapping” (referring to its high resource requirements). How long until some wag comes up with something similar for Electron…
A Terabyte Of Memory?
ah yes, Slack. They force me to use that as well. Totally forgot about that beast.
VSCode runs fine on my ~2 year old laptop. Is currently consuming ~617mb of ram in total between all the helpers. VSCode is much better about resources than atom.
Full(ish) list of apps here: https://electron.atom.io/apps/
There is potential for Signal Desktop to join the ranks as well.. Hopefully they come up with a better solution (I am not holding my breath).
I wish this was satire, but it isn’t https://github.com/Meadowcottage/gitmoji
For me, it was Slack, Brave and Discord. I had heard similar issues from friends that used VS Code and Atom, and that’s when the pattern emerged for me
I came across this editor performance comparison earlier today, seems relevant.
VS Code is at or near the very bottom for every performance test.
On the other hand, VS Code feels faster than IntelliJ in my experience, and VS Code is straddling the line between Sublime Text and an IDE. YMMV.
[Comment removed by author]
In this case, VSCode is probably using the most reasonable approach to blinking a cursor: a step timing-function with a CSS keyframe animation.
I just love that this is “the most reasonable approach”.
There are other cases where the baseline power use for animations seems higher than you might expect. nytimes.com, minus ads, in a non-visible background window (not tab), bursts up to ~50% CPU every few seconds on my Chromebook, presumably because of a couple of animations that run there there periodically. Straightforward to imagine throttling background windows like tabs, but keeping animations cheap even when visible seems both useful and really hard.
Separately, sometimes I wonder how to interpret CPU% when the system is mostly idle: my processor clocks down, so is that “10%” really less than 10% of the CPU’s max speed? And then if you want to gauge power impact there’s a whole set of other considerations (like number of wakeups). Things are more complicated than they used to be, heh!
The way I think about it is my CPU clocks down to 500mhz or so. About the speed of a pentium II ( ignoring architectural improvements). I’ve used pentium II computers in the past, and ran text editors on them, and blinking the cursor didn’t take 10% of the CPU back then. Something has definitely changed.
Oh yeah, definitely agree the CPU% in the linked bug is way more than necessary to blink a cursor, full-stop. In the second para I’m just lamenting in general that sometimes I don’t know quite how to read some numbers due to the cleverness of modern systems. (The ARM gadget I’m typing on is even mixing in-order and out-of-order cores, heh.)
I like using code but there’s not much reason for me to stick with it. I don’t know what to use instead though.
I guess atom? or sublime or maybe even micro