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Latest stable release: Electron 5.0.0 improves JavaScript performance

Sarah Schlothauer
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The Electron framework helps developers create cross-platform desktop apps in JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. Now, the newest release v5.0.0 has arrived. It upgrades its core elements, Chromium, Node.js, and V8 to the latest versions, fixes previous issues, and adds a few new features and breaking changes.

The popular Electron framework enters a new phase. Its latest stable release, Electron v5.0.0, arrived on April 23, 2019.

Electron is a framework based on Node.js and Chromium for building desktop apps using JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. Its cross-platform nature makes it possible to build and run apps on Windows, Mac, and Linux devices.

(See the API demos on GitHub for a sample of its core features and read further in the documentation.)

New to Electron 5

If you are upgrading from Electron 4, the core elements that power Electron upgrade from their previous version. Here’s what new versions of Chromium, Node.js, and the V8 JS engine include according to their respective release notes:

All of these core upgrades improve upon security and JavaScript performance for a smoother, faster experience.

SEE ALSO: JavaScript ecosystem survey concludes React is most popular framework

With this release, the Promisification initiative continues. This initiative undertaken by the Electron team hopes to convert callback-based functions in Electron to return Promises.

The doc on GitHub states that, “during this transition period, both the callback and Promise-based versions of these functions will work correctly, and will both be documented”.

View the candidate functions and converted functions on GitHub.

Out of the new features added, here’s just a sample of the latest additions to Electron. View the full list of features in the release notes.

  • Support for multiple browser views per BrowserWindow
  • Immediate MacOS notifications
  • Caps lock and numlock added as keyboard accelerator modifiers
  • System colors access for macOS
  • Use the function process.getProcessMemoryInfo to receive memory usage statistics
  • getMemoryFootprint API
  • Register multiple globalShortcuts
  • Mixed-sandbox mode works on Linux
  • Support for running preload scripts and nodeIntegration in iframes

Breaking changes & deprecations

This update includes several breaking changes and deprecations in preparation for their removal in the next release. According to the release notes, here is what has changed.

  • Since v5.0.0 upgrades Chromium 73.0.3683.119, Node.js 12.0.0, and the V8 engine  7.3.492.27 expect changes according to these new versions.
  • In order to improve security, default values of nodeIntegration and webviewTag are now false .
  • Packaged apps now behave the same as the default app.
  • Mixed sandbox mode enabled by default
  • SpellCheck API changed for asynchronous results
  • Newly deprecated APIs in 5.0.0. will be removed in the future release 6.0.0. These APIs include:
    • Mksnapshot binaries for arm and arm64
    • ServiceWorker APIs on WebContents
    • Automative modules with sandboxed webContents
  • Further info on planned breaking API changes available on GitHub

SEE ALSO: Node.js v12 improves startup times and adds experimental diagnostic reports

Version 5.0.0 packages fixes to previously known issues. For further information on, please refer to the release notes for a full list of fixes.

This update also marks the end of support for v2.0.x.

Users are highly recommended to update to a new version. Upgrading improves security and additional safety provided by later releases and support.

Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is the editor for She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and cat where she enjoys reading, writing, and medieval reenactment. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

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