Background: Novel frameworks for the development of desktop applications with web technologies have become popular. These desktop web app frameworks allow developers to reuse existing code and knowledge of web applications for the creation of cross-platform apps integrated with native APIs. Aims: To date, desktop web app frameworks have not been studied empirically. In this paper, we aim to fill this gap by characterizing the usage of web frameworks and providing evidence on how beneficial are their pros and how impactful are their cons. Method: We conducted an empirical study, collecting and analyzing 453 desktop web apps publicly available on GitHub. We performed qualitative and quantitative analyses to uncover the traits and issues of desktop web apps. Results: We found that desktop web app frameworks enable the development of cross-platform applications even for teams of limited dimensions, taking advantage of the abundant number of available web libraries. However, at the same time, bugs deriving from platform compatibility issues are common. Conclusions: Our study provides concrete evidence on some disadvantages associated with desktop web app frameworks. Future work is required to assess their impact on the required development and maintenance effort, and to investigate other aspects not considered in this first research.

Web Frameworks for Desktop Apps: an Exploratory Study

G. L. Scoccia;M. Autili
2020

Abstract

Background: Novel frameworks for the development of desktop applications with web technologies have become popular. These desktop web app frameworks allow developers to reuse existing code and knowledge of web applications for the creation of cross-platform apps integrated with native APIs. Aims: To date, desktop web app frameworks have not been studied empirically. In this paper, we aim to fill this gap by characterizing the usage of web frameworks and providing evidence on how beneficial are their pros and how impactful are their cons. Method: We conducted an empirical study, collecting and analyzing 453 desktop web apps publicly available on GitHub. We performed qualitative and quantitative analyses to uncover the traits and issues of desktop web apps. Results: We found that desktop web app frameworks enable the development of cross-platform applications even for teams of limited dimensions, taking advantage of the abundant number of available web libraries. However, at the same time, bugs deriving from platform compatibility issues are common. Conclusions: Our study provides concrete evidence on some disadvantages associated with desktop web app frameworks. Future work is required to assess their impact on the required development and maintenance effort, and to investigate other aspects not considered in this first research.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11697/148886
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