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Alejandro Londoño
Alejandro Londoño

Posted on • Updated on

ChatGPT and how it is a great learning tool

Hello everybodyđź‘‹!

In this article I would like to show you my process in learning a new technology with ChatGPT, which without a doubt nowadays is one of the best tools for learning, specifically I am learning to create desktop applications with electron.js since I want to focus more on a web stack, so let's start.

First of all, I am currently using the free version of ChatGPT, but it is still incredibly powerful and complete and now even more so thanks to the limited inclusion of the GPT-4o model.

The new power of GPT-4o allows me to learn a wide variety of topics with just one input, which we can appreciate when I ask the following question:

> What is Electron.js?


ChatGPT-4o response:

Electron.js is an open-source framework developed by GitHub that allows developers to build cross-platform desktop applications using web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Here are some key points about Electron.js:

  1. Core Components: Electron combines the Chromium rendering engine and the Node.js runtime. This means you can use web technologies to create the user interface and Node.js to handle backend operations.
  2. Cross-Platform: Electron applications can run on Windows, macOS, and Linux with minimal changes to the codebase. This makes it easier to develop software that works across different operating systems.
  3. Desktop Integration: Electron provides access to native desktop features such as file system access, system notifications, and more through its API. This allows developers to create desktop applications with capabilities similar to those built using native frameworks.
  4. Popular Applications: Several well-known applications are built with Electron, including Visual Studio Code, Slack, and Discord. These applications demonstrate the capability of Electron to handle complex and high-performance tasks.
  5. Development Workflow: Developing an Electron application involves creating a main process and one or more renderer processes. The main process handles the application's lifecycle and can create windows, while the renderer processes manage the user interface.
  6. Advantages:
    • Unified Codebase: Write once and run anywhere.
    • Web Technology: Leverage existing web development skills.
    • Node.js Integration: Utilize a vast ecosystem of Node.js packages.
  7. Disadvantages:
    • Performance: Electron applications can be more resource-intensive compared to native applications.
    • **Size: Applications tend to be larger in size due to bundling Chromium and Node.js.

Electron is a powerful tool for developers looking to create desktop applications quickly and efficiently using familiar web technologies.


With just one question, it already provides enough information to have a well-defined basis in this particular case about Eletron.js.

But now let's be a little more specific:

> Give me an Electron.js tutorial


ChatGPT-4o Response:

Sure! Let's create a basic Electron.js application step-by-step. This tutorial will guide you through setting up a simple desktop application.

Prerequisites

  1. **Node.js: Ensure you have Node.js installed. You can download it from nodejs.org.
  2. **npm: Node Package Manager, which comes with Node.js.

Step 1: Initialize Your Project

  1. **Create a new directory* for your project and navigate into it:*

    bashCopy code
    mkdir my-electron-app
    cd my-electron-app
    
    
  2. **Initialize a new Node.js project:

    bashCopy code
    npm init -y
    
    

    This will create a *package.json** file with default settings.*

Step 2: Install Electron

Install Electron as a development dependency:

bashCopy code
npm install electron --save-dev

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Step 3: Create Main Application Files

  1. **Create the main entry point file. Typically, this file is named *main.js*:

    jsCopy code
    // main.js
    const { app, BrowserWindow } = require('electron');
    
    function createWindow() {
      const win = new BrowserWindow({
        width: 800,
        height: 600,
        webPreferences: {
          nodeIntegration: true,
          contextIsolation: false
        }
      });
    
      win.loadFile('index.html');
    }
    
    app.whenReady().then(() => {
      createWindow();
    
      app.on('activate', () => {
        if (BrowserWindow.getAllWindows().length === 0) {
          createWindow();
        }
      });
    });
    
    app.on('window-all-closed', () => {
      if (process.platform !== 'darwin') {
        app.quit();
      }
    });
    
    
  2. **Create an HTML file* named index.html:*

    htmlCopy code
    <!-- index.html -->
    <!DOCTYPE html>
    <html>
    <head>
      <title>My Electron App</title>
    </head>
    <body>
      <h1>Hello, Electron!</h1>
      <p>Welcome to your first Electron app.</p>
    </body>
    </html>
    
    

Step 4: Update package.json

In your *package.json, add a **start script to launch your Electron application:*

jsonCopy code
{
  "name": "my-electron-app",
  "version": "1.0.0",
  "main": "main.js",
  "scripts": {
    "start": "electron ."
  },
  "devDependencies": {
    "electron": "^VERSION"
  }
}

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Replace *^VERSION** with the installed Electron version.*

Step 5: Run Your Application

Run your application using the following command:

bashCopy code
npm start

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You should see a new window open with the message "Hello, Electron!" displayed.

Additional Steps

Adding Styles

You can add a CSS file to style your HTML content. Create a file named *style.css** and link it in index.html:*

htmlCopy code
<!-- index.html -->
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
  <title>My Electron App</title>
  <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="style.css">
</head>
<body>
  <h1>Hello, Electron!</h1>
  <p>Welcome to your first Electron app.</p>
</body>
</html>

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cssCopy code
/* style.css */
body {
  font-family: Arial, sans-serif;
  text-align: center;
  margin-top: 50px;
}

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Adding Functionality

You can add JavaScript to handle user interactions. Create a file named *renderer.js** and include it in index.html:*

htmlCopy code
<!-- index.html -->
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
  <title>My Electron App</title>
  <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="style.css">
</head>
<body>
  <h1>Hello, Electron!</h1>
  <p>Welcome to your first Electron app.</p>
  <button id="clickMe">Click Me</button>
  <script src="renderer.js"></script>
</body>
</html>

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jsCopy code
// renderer.js
document.getElementById('clickMe').addEventListener('click', () => {
  alert('Button clicked!');
});

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Conclusion

You now have a basic Electron.js application up and running. From here, you can explore more features of Electron, such as integrating with native modules, adding menus, handling file operations, and much more. For detailed documentation and advanced features, refer to the official Electron documentation.


It's a great teacher! And because he keeps the context of the conversation, we can now simply ask him in a more direct way what we want and he answers without any problems, for example:

> What databases can I use?


ChatGPT-4o Response:

With Electron.js, you can use a variety of databases, depending on your application's requirements and architecture. Here are some popular choices:

Embedded Databases

  1. **SQLite:

    • **Description: A lightweight, serverless, self-contained SQL database engine.
    • **Usage: Good for small to medium-sized applications where you want a simple, file-based database.
    • **Library: sqlite3
    • **Example:

      bashCopy code
      npm install sqlite3
      
      
    ```js
    jsCopy code
    const sqlite3 = require('sqlite3').verbose();
    const db = new sqlite3.Database('mydatabase.db');

    db.serialize(() => {
      db.run("CREATE TABLE IF NOT EXISTS user (id INT, name TEXT)");

      const stmt = db.prepare("INSERT INTO user VALUES (?, ?)");
      stmt.run(1, "John Doe");
      stmt.finalize();

      db.each("SELECT id, name FROM user", (err, row) => {
        console.log(`User ID: ${row.id}, Name: ${row.name}`);
      });
    });

    db.close();

    ```
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…Other DB Options

Choosing the Right Database

The choice of database depends on various factors like the complexity of your data, scalability requirements, and whether you prefer SQL or NoSQL solutions. For simple, local storage needs, embedded databases like SQLite or NeDB are great. For larger, scalable applications, client-server databases like MySQL, PostgreSQL, or MongoDB are ideal. For real-time, cloud-based applications, consider using Firebase Firestore or Supabase.


I cut ChatGPT's answer a little bit to not make this article too long, but he gave me a variety of databases which I can use in my Eletron application and I also add a description, the name of the library and even an ideal use case with its respective example and finally a conclusion.

Undoubtedly ChatGPT and other tools that take advantage of artificial intelligence are a great ally for our day to day and a tool that if you know how to take advantage can become an extension of ourselves, as it is today our smartphones and provide significant support in our work and studies as if it were a second brain.

Thanks for making it this far, see you next time đź‘‹.

Top comments (1)

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No Scrubs

Good post