I mentioned a year or two ago the idea that Electron architecture software is crap.

As I’ve broadened the breadth of software use in my work and tossing, I’ve had to install more and more Electron-based software on my computer system. And it was in this experience of using it more and more often in real life that I began to waver a bit from my previous views. But I know that my wavering is not about right and wrong, but about the dissonance I feel when I look at it from the perspective of user experience and utility, and this dissonance makes me think.

As the pros have detailed next door, software such as those based on the Electron architecture, which can easily be hundreds of MiB in size and take up more than five or six hundred MiB of hard disk space after installation, is the culprit for making the existing hard disk cake appear to be insufficient. The rendering process takes up a lot of RAM when starting up and running, if the boot up 8GB RAM will start up more than half, if 4GB RAM will have to run through the performance of the compressed system resources to call normally, is the culprit of power consumption and waste of resources to destroy the planet. Even a layman like me, who is only based on user experience, also pulled out the head of the Electron software experience in the Windows system: its font rendering is undoubtedly lazy, directly inherited from the poor font rendering mechanism of Windows, so that the display including 2K resolution non-96 DPI in the 100% system shrinkage. The experience can be summarized as “unpleasant”.

But in the face of Electron architecture software, there are always compromises to be found in the methodology of user experience: SATA, Nvme hard drive plug-in.

  • SATA and Nvme hard drives are plugged in to eliminate the possibility of not having enough hard drives.
  • Plug the memory slots to 64 GB or more, and replace the motherboard if the memory slots are not enough to eliminate the possibility of not having enough RAM.
  • Replace the 1080P/2K resolution monitor with 4K resolution to experience the normal font rendering of Electron software in Windows / macOS seamlessly.
  • Bring back the web-based version of Electron software to the browser, and even replace your usual Chromium-based browser with Firefox1. Solve the problem of font rendering and hard disk space usage all at once.

At a glance, it seems that three sentences are not separated from adding money and consumption. Did you pay? Yes. Did you solve your problem? Yes. But this only solved their own problems, but do not consider the situation of more people, is like the realistic results of “first rich drive the rich”? If more than a decade ago is the hardware process technology is stagnant then let everyone try to optimize the software, for 1 MB of memory optimization and racking their brains, then when 4K, 64GB, 1TB SSD with the current eyes to judge the high-end hardware configuration has become the norm, will let the software is not optimized and negative optimization become the norm for software?

Of course, you can flirt with Intel’s 14nm +++++++, but as those who take RTX 3080 as the standard norm for gamers, while the RTX 2080 Ti is reduced to worthless, I’m afraid it’s not thinking about the problems behind these so-called normals. Technological progress is undoubtedly inseparable from consumption, but the inability to see their own needs and see consumerism as the be all and end all of consumption, creating one pseudo-demand after another, is decoupling the synchronization of the development of hardware and software. Humans are also keen to find exceptions, VS Code is taken as a benchmark is not wrong, but in retrospect, the development of human beings, the so-called benchmark is often a return to the light. Humans are not gods and cannot make the hardware and software match 100% from the macro level for synchronous development, but more like a sine function with a certain regular curve. This progress is based on the known and also contains the unknown, this unknown belongs to the future, very attractive. But at this moment, based on the slow response of Electron framework software, the fan is running fast, instilling powerlessness and irritation to me. I think I am too lazy to curse again, and can only remaining myths.

If we talk back, to the stage of talking about right and wrong, a little inattentiveness will be towards the debate on the original sin of software technology in one fell swoop. The path of rationality always leads human beings intentionally or unintentionally, and I think this direction of judgment is good. The ideological pragmatism philosophy of “software is for use” is just a theorization of the word “utility”. If you want to explain the practical meaning of “software for use”, you have to consider the “effect of use”, such as how to use the software, whether to use it persistently, or to use it intently, and how the concept of “software for use” is finally presented. If you change your position to “software is to play”, play can always focus, but also easy to lose in persistence, lack of persistence will miss the quality change. For this kind of thinking, it is much easier to mutter in the heart than to make expressions, and the popular in-volume discussion in the social circle, put on this matter to see, also can not jump that form.

  1. At 1080P 100% zoom system settings, Firefox is without a doubt the browser with the best font rendering. ↩︎