Electron "collection" apps (e.g. Ferdi)

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webfork
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Electron "collection" apps (e.g. Ferdi)

#1 Post by webfork » Sat Mar 20, 2021 9:39 pm

Background

A common theme with a lot of new apps coming out is their reliance on a nearly identical collection of free and open source tools. The "Electron" service is a platform that enables developers to put out applications for multiple operating systems, both complex and simple. The program is more or less a copy of Google Chrome and in many ways behaves like a browser with a web development front-end, notifications, cache, and process manager.

Problems

This has been discussed several times here, but some of the problems with this framework include it's size. Applications take up 100s of megs of disk space, RAM, and multiple processes for even simple timer programs. While this is a good thing for Mac users, who tend to have a lot of RAM and not much of a freeware community, it's a bad thing for low-end or older Windows computers, a group we often cater to.

Electron portability

While there does appear to be some support for portability, programs in this class are rarely portable. The PortableApps project has historically been avoiding adding portable programs to their service.

The problem: growth

Based on just inertia, I think we're looking at a future where Electron grows and applications in that vein go from nice-to-have to important or even mandatory. One solution to multiple applications of this type has become to generate a collection of all these apps in one, after all they're 95% the same but for some outside libraries and configuration files. As such, it may become prudent to use a collection program that mitigates the framework's intense resource needs.

The solution: "collection" app

There are already a group of apps that all try to do this, but for for now I'm only going to mention their non-freemium program Ferdi. It appears to be open source and an active project.

https://getferdi.com/
https://getferdi.com/features
https://www.softpedia.com/get/Internet/ ... erdi.shtml

It does list a portable version but according to issue 921, the program generates an install and then deletes the program on exit. It is not particularly quick on startup on my older Win10x64 system.

Status: Inconclusive, the program does seem to write most settings to the application folder under FerdiAppData, but there was also another folder saved to AppData: C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Ferdi\Dictionaries. Version tested: 5.5.0.

Login note:

While you can use Ferdi without an account on their service, just about every service I tried to enable required a separate login. This test was inconclusive because I didn't create a Ferdi-specific login nor for any of the included services.

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Note: Ripcord is a lightweight Slack and Discord client, and is not an Electron App -- that program aims to solve some of the problems of the Electron framework, but is not freeware.

freakazoid
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Re: Electron "collection" apps (e.g. Ferdi)

#2 Post by freakazoid » Sun Mar 21, 2021 11:35 am

In the specific case of using Ferdi to manage your messaging services, I'm against using it. Just use the browser version of those apps in your existing browser and you get the benefit of using extensions to block ads and tracking.
is it stealth? ;)

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Re: Electron "collection" apps (e.g. Ferdi)

#3 Post by webfork » Mon Mar 22, 2021 12:56 pm

freakazoid wrote:
Sun Mar 21, 2021 11:35 am
Just use the browser version of those apps in your existing browser and you get the benefit of using extensions to block ads and tracking.
Agreed.

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