Gluon is a framework for creating desktop apps from websites, using system installed browsers and NodeJS.

Why Gluon?

Existing frameworks either bundle Chromium (Electron) or use WebView2/WebKitGTK (Tauri/many others). Instead of doing either of those, Gluon uses normal already installed browsers instead. Rather than just use marketing and vague claims, here are some real pros and cons:

Advantages over bundling

  • Tiny build sizes in comparison
  • Chromium version isn’t coupled to build
  • More freedom/choice for users

Advantages over WebView2

  • Don’t have to rely on system installed libraries
  • Fully open source (WebView2 is closed source)
  • More features supported (browser extensions, etc)
  • Don’t have to worry about using other libraries on non-Windows
  • More freedom/choice for developers and users (not locked into one ecosystem/library/engine)

Advantages over Webkit2GTK

  • Don’t have to rely on system installed libraries
  • DRM content playback in Chrome/Chromium or Firefox (Webkit2GTK does not support Widevine)

Disadvantages over bundling

  • Not always sure what you’ll work with

Disadvantages over WebView2

  • WebView2 is well supported, maintained, and relatively stable