10 years and 27,147 more commits from 1192 unique contributors later, Electron has become one of the most popular frameworks for building desktop applications today. This milestone is the perfect opportunity to celebrate and reflect on our journey so far, and to share what we’ve learned along the way.
We would not be here today without everyone who has dedicated their time and effort to contribute to the project. Although source code commits are always the most visible contributions, we also have to acknowledge the effort of folks who report bugs, maintain userland modules, provide documentation and translations, and participate in the Electron community across cyberspace. Every contribution is invaluable to us as maintainers.
Atom Shell was built as the backbone for GitHub’s Atom editor, which launched in public beta in April 2014. It was built from the ground up as an alternative to the web-based desktop frameworks available at the time (node-webkit and Chrome Embedded Framework). It had a killer feature: embedding Node.js and Chromium to provide a powerful desktop runtime for web technologies.
Within a year, Atom Shell began seeing immense growth in capabilities and popularity. Large companies, startups, and individual developers alike had started building apps with it (some early adopters include Slack, GitKraken, and WebTorrent), and the project was aptly renamed to Electron.