NW.js and Electron compared

NW.js and Electron compared

I've spent a lot of time doing cross platform development over the past year with a huge workload on cross platform desktop development.

During that time, I found some customers and blog readers asking me if they should go for NW.js or if they should go direction Electron. There is no quick answer to this question. It's really this kind of question that has to be answered with It depends.

I've used both frameworks for real projects in the past and both of them worked great for the given projects. Neither Electron nor NW.js is perfect (but they'are close :D). Each has it's own pitfalls. But the communities behind those frameworks are awesome and keep on answering really quick to questions popping up on GitHub or in tools like Gitter or Slack.

There is already a post on the web comparing both from various perspectives but the post (available here) is a bit outdated. Especially Electron has evolved a lot since the linked post was initially published. So it's time to compare both frameworks again with all the information publicly available by February 2016.

I've create a simple sheet on Google which allows anyone to leave comments in it.

Here the direct link to the Google Sheet.

Soft Facts

Since the first public release of Visual Studio Code - which is based on Electron-, the framework gained a lot more attention than before.

Since July 2015, we're waiting for a new NW.js release. Which have to move all new features and the highly required dependency updates (like migrating from io.js to latest Node.js) from beta status to a release candidate. Testing stuff on beta software is great but shipping real world products on beta frameworks will not work!

If you compare both frameworks based on non-beta releases Electron is far ahead. But I believe in the team building NW.js to ship their great beta as soon as possible.

Besides the hard facts listed in the Google Sheet, you and your team should invest some time and look at both frameworks. There are some differences when it comes to architecture and usage from a developers perspective. Make yourself comfortable with Electron and NW.js. Decide which one fits better to your needs. Currently both are under active development, so chances are pretty good that both exists for long time from now (whatever that means in this age :D).


In the end, it's once again a personal decision which depends on your requirements. Have you also tried both? What are experiences with those frameworks? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.


comments powered by Disqus