Thanh Le's Blog

Thanh Le's Blog

Electron multiple Tabs without dealing with performance

Electron multiple Tabs without dealing with performance

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Hi everyone,

I'm Thanh, Refi App creator

In the journey of building a tool to interact with Firestore, I found an insight that:

  • Developers usually working on multiple projects at the same time
  • And they also tend to use multiple tabs on the browser to work with the same Firebase project to have multiple views

Indeed, Refi App should support them by:

  1. Implement user's familiar UX tabs - Like what chrome does
  2. Hotkeys all the thing (Cmd + T for new tab, Cmd + W to close current one)
  3. Fast

In search of solutions

It popped out on my head for some solution:

But none of them can give me the right solution, why?

If I use Tabs component in react, the multiple application will work on just one process and it app is will hanging when we have more than 3 tabs open since Refi App do lots of things in the background: It listens on the database changes and update the UI in realtime, showing many documents at the same time in the Table view

How about electron-tabs, it uses webview under the hood. I tested it and end up can not make my app running properly due to application architecture. The webview also have many issues remains that event Slack or Figma team can not deal with:

Growing Pains: Migrating Slack's Desktop App to BrowserView - Slack Engineering

Introducing BrowserView for Electron

Refi App architecture

But those awesome team has introduced a great alternative solution for it BrowserView. It basically works like BrowserWindow but you can put BrowserView anywhere in BrowserWindow.

It likes position relative/absolute in CSS, the BrowserWindow is the parent which has position: relative; and the BrowserView is children have position: absolute;. And yes, you can put many BrowserView inside its parent as you want, just like CSS

BrowserWindow = position relative, BrowserView = position Absolute

BrowserWindow = position relative, BrowserView = position Absolute

Here is the output

Refi App using BrowserView

The output is awesome, each tab instance has its own process, and the performance is incredible, it like we change tab in the Chrome browser (In fact, the mechanism is almost the same as Chrome is doing)


I'm too tired right now so if you're curious about how to do that, let's wait for the next post.

If you guys think this post is useful and one to know more trick on optimize the performance of Electron, let's follow me at https://twitter.com/cuthanh15

 
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