The Electron framework and portable software

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webfork
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The Electron framework and portable software

#1 Post by webfork » Sun May 28, 2017 7:36 pm

The whole Electron framework has been discussed more than once on the site (including WebTorrent, Curse, and Wire) and, while it's not portable, it has enabled a lot of web services to come to the desktop. Obviously this doesn't impact us yet, but if the Electron framework were encouraged to go a more portable route, that would be a quick and smooth way to get a lot of programs quickly added to the portable catalog in a way that's (potentially) cross-platform.

It may even be possible to pull them together into one similar to Ninite or PortableApps as the (non-free) WebCatalog program has done:

https://getwebcatalog.com/downloads/windows
http://www.softpedia.com/get/Internet/O ... alog.shtml

A tool like this that includes program isolation might also be capable of corralling a lot of errant files and settings.

Normally I'd consider taking this on as a separate project to try and see what I could manage, but as it stands it's been hard to dedicate the time I'd like to existing projects so, I thought I'd see if this grabbed someone's attention.

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Re: Electron based Windows 95

#2 Post by Midas » Thu Aug 30, 2018 2:47 am

Case in point (following recent debates like the one at viewtopic.php?t=24294, am already donning my reproach helmet):
A developer by the name of Felix Rieseberg has resurrected Microsoft’s ancient OS using the power of Electron, a cross-platform app development framework. 😱

"I put Windows 95 into an Electron app that now runs on macOS, Windows, and Linux. It’s a terrible idea that works shockingly well. I’m so sorry", he writes on Twitter.

Some interesting technical details in that article. Now if someone did the same with Windows 98 SE, as this VMs apparently run fine in Linux and MacOS and given adequate performance, it might become a worthy platform for playing legacy games.

Electron Windows 95 download available from https://github.com/felixrieseberg/windows95 (also at www.freewarefiles.com/Windows-95-_program_112416.html and betanews.com/2018/08/23/run-windows-95-on-windows-macos-and-linux/).

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Re: The Electron framework and portable software

#3 Post by webfork » Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:58 am

I'm so sorry
I love it when people participate in a terrible project and acknowledge it from the start. It's like all those programs that start with "Yet Another <Program>".

I do hope he both disabled network connections by default and make it annoying to enable. Versions of Windows before probably Vista just do not need to be connected to the Internet.

Strangely this might be good for PFW as we still have a fair number of programs that work on older Windows versions and (mostly) don't require a net connection.

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Re: The Electron framework and portable software

#4 Post by webfork » Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:01 pm

A few updates on this:
  • Smaragdus' concerns over in the Mark Text thread.
  • "Software disenchantment" - a great article on exceedingly inefficient software
    "Look around: our portable computers are thousands of times more powerful than the ones that brought man to the moon. Yet every other webpage struggles to maintain a smooth 60fps scroll on the latest top-of-the-line MacBook Pro. I can comfortably play games, watch 4K videos but not scroll web pages? How is it ok?" http://tonsky.me/blog/disenchantment/

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Re: The Electron framework and portable software

#5 Post by SYSTEM » Sun Sep 30, 2018 7:47 pm

webfork wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:01 pm
Software disenchantment" - a great article on exceedingly inefficient software
Thanks, nice read. :)
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Re: The Electron framework and portable software

#6 Post by TP109 » Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:49 pm

webfork wrote:
Sun Sep 30, 2018 1:01 pm
[*]"Software disenchantment" - a great article on exceedingly inefficient software
Good article. Totally agree with the author.

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Re: The Electron framework and portable software

#7 Post by Midas » Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:34 am

This... :cry:

Our portable computers are thousands of times more powerful than the ones that brought man to the moon. Yet every other webpage struggles to maintain a smooth 60fps scroll on the latest top-of-the-line MacBook Pro. I can comfortably play games, watch 4K videos but not scroll web pages? How is it ok?
Windows 10 takes 30 minutes to update. What could it possibly be doing for that long? That much time is enough to fully format my SSD drive, download a fresh build and install it like 5 times in a row.
Modern text editors have higher latency than 42-year-old Emacs. Text editors! What can be simpler?
As a general trend, we’re not getting faster software with more features. We’re getting faster hardware that runs slower software with the same features.

Prepare to be dumbstruck if you dig deeper:
Dig even deeper and jump-switch into outright fear:

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Re: The Electron framework and portable software

#8 Post by Midas » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:48 am

Practical case to highlight what we're talking about here: Arora browser (first mentioned by SimonT at viewtopic.php?p=19027#p19027).

Why can't a browser look and feel this lightweight? (Granted that memory footprint is for a single window/page with nothing on it...)

Image

Image

Image

Sadly, Arora hasn't been updated since 2010 -- see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arora_(web_browser)...

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Re: The Electron framework and portable software

#9 Post by Specular » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:40 pm

Midas wrote:
Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:48 am
Practical case to highlight what we're talking about here: Arora browser (first mentioned by SimonT at viewtopic.php?p=19027#p19027).

Why can't a browser look and feel this lightweight? (Granted that memory footprint is for a single window/page with nothing on it...)

Sadly, Arora hasn't been updated since 2010 -- see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arora_(web_browser)...
Arora and Aurora seem to be two different programs. The former is the one from 2010 (and with the Wiki page) while the latter from the results is new and mostly unheard of, however virtually all image results I'm seeing titles of suggest it's malicious. Not sure what your experience has been.

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Re: The Electron framework and portable software

#10 Post by Midas » Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:25 am

Well, it kinda puzzled me why it was named one way and displayed another, but I couldn't put my finger on it until you called it out. No ill effects whatsoever up to now, but I'll just recheck everything. :|

Meanwhile, it impressed me by how quickly it fires up, how nimble it feels when opening any page and the minute footprint.

----- EDIT ---

After further checking and although I couldn't detect anything malicious about the copy of Aurora Browser Portable that I have, I probably shouldn't have posted such a glowing recommendation.

Not much info around. The homepage is gone, but this summary still exists:

http://aurora-browser.findmysoft.com/

Virustotal is flagging the executable with a 9/68 (~13%) score:

www.virustotal.com /#/file/0917ef9f3825a4f4c9f58212b02ac10520876c4f4f15418442126d295eebc2c8/

The Hao123 (the name of a Chinese software download site, apparently) riskware is not severe enough to warrant an entry into most malware resources -- e.g., see TrendMicro's encyclopedia:

www.trendmicro.com /vinfo/tr/threat-encyclopedia/malware/pua_hao.ga

All in all, I believe the issue is due more to some fishy deployments of the single executable Aurora (coupled with the fact that it originates from China...) than it being unsavory by itself. YMMV, though.

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