Ask HN: Anyone making a living building desktop applications?

This page summarizes the projects mentioned and recommended in the original post on news.ycombinator.com

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  • datastation

    App to easily query, script, and visualize data from every database, file, and API.

    I'm building a desktop-first (SaaS-eventual) data IDE for developers [0]. Making a living? Not yet.

    It being desktop-first makes it as easy to try out in a corporate environment as Sublime. The data never leaves your machine. Desktop-first is a big deal in devtools for this reason.

    [0] https://github.com/multiprocessio/datastation

  • application

    Buckets Desktop Application (by buckets)

    I work on a desktop budgeting application. I love that it's desktop-only (and so do the users)! It doesn't earn a living (yet), but it makes more than enough to cover expenses.

    [0] https://www.budgetwithbuckets.com

  • Appwrite

    Appwrite - The Open Source Firebase alternative introduces iOS support. Appwrite is an open source backend server that helps you build native iOS applications much faster with realtime APIs for authentication, databases, files storage, cloud functions and much more!

  • atomic-edits

    🎬 A desktop app that automatically removes silence from videos.

    I tried to make 2 different desktop apps in 2021 and failed at both.

    Atomic Edits[0] is a desktop app that helps YouTubers (like me) automatically remove silence in videos. It went viral on Reddit[1] but I realized later that building a video editing app with Electron (and not C++) was a bad choice. Library support video/audio editing was lacking.

    Recut[2] is an app that basically does what Atomic Edits aimed to do, but actually succeeded. I think it's because it was a native Mac app which meant it had access to better libraries for editing videos. (That or I gave up too early on Atomic Edits.)

    Orbital[3] is desktop app that allows you to search, filter, preview video files on your computer like YouTube. I posted on some subreddits and it had potential but I realized it wouldn't be enough to sustain me. It could've worked as a side-project but being as my main source of income was from YouTube ad-revenue, it wasn't worth it.

    VideoHubApp[4] is a desktop app that does what Orbital aimed to do and actually earned a couple thousand dollars. It was started a few years earlier and was built with a similar tech stack.

    All that is to say, I made desktop apps that had potential, but I did not have the time to spend making them feature complete.

    [0] https://github.com/SuboptimalEng/atomic-edits

    [1] https://www.reddit.com/r/webdev/comments/ohbl6i/i_made_a_des...

    [2] https://getrecut.com/

    [3] https://github.com/SuboptimalEng/orbital

    [4] https://videohubapp.com/en/

  • orbital

    🛰 A desktop app that allows you to search, filter, and preview video files on your computer - like YouTube for your local file system. (by SuboptimalEng)

    I tried to make 2 different desktop apps in 2021 and failed at both.

    Atomic Edits[0] is a desktop app that helps YouTubers (like me) automatically remove silence in videos. It went viral on Reddit[1] but I realized later that building a video editing app with Electron (and not C++) was a bad choice. Library support video/audio editing was lacking.

    Recut[2] is an app that basically does what Atomic Edits aimed to do, but actually succeeded. I think it's because it was a native Mac app which meant it had access to better libraries for editing videos. (That or I gave up too early on Atomic Edits.)

    Orbital[3] is desktop app that allows you to search, filter, preview video files on your computer like YouTube. I posted on some subreddits and it had potential but I realized it wouldn't be enough to sustain me. It could've worked as a side-project but being as my main source of income was from YouTube ad-revenue, it wasn't worth it.

    VideoHubApp[4] is a desktop app that does what Orbital aimed to do and actually earned a couple thousand dollars. It was started a few years earlier and was built with a similar tech stack.

    All that is to say, I made desktop apps that had potential, but I did not have the time to spend making them feature complete.

    [0] https://github.com/SuboptimalEng/atomic-edits

    [1] https://www.reddit.com/r/webdev/comments/ohbl6i/i_made_a_des...

    [2] https://getrecut.com/

    [3] https://github.com/SuboptimalEng/orbital

    [4] https://videohubapp.com/en/

  • Wails

    Create beautiful applications using Go

    For reference I'm taking my shot with https://github.com/wailsapp/wails (webview2 supported on Windows) and https://github.com/mozilla/pdf.js for a PDF processing related use case.

    Wails because I imagine extensive Golang based services (preference/experience) in any cloud env. C# would be my other approach for O365 based integrations.

    Rust has something similar to wails, https://github.com/tauri-apps/tauri . Then there all the traditional native vs cross-platform methods.

    No approach, or cross platform framework, really seem quite right. But I figure time and money would be the important factors in any serious avenue I want to take things.

  • PDF.js

    PDF Reader in JavaScript

    For reference I'm taking my shot with https://github.com/wailsapp/wails (webview2 supported on Windows) and https://github.com/mozilla/pdf.js for a PDF processing related use case.

    Wails because I imagine extensive Golang based services (preference/experience) in any cloud env. C# would be my other approach for O365 based integrations.

    Rust has something similar to wails, https://github.com/tauri-apps/tauri . Then there all the traditional native vs cross-platform methods.

    No approach, or cross platform framework, really seem quite right. But I figure time and money would be the important factors in any serious avenue I want to take things.

  • tauri

    Build smaller, faster, and more secure desktop applications with a web frontend.

    For reference I'm taking my shot with https://github.com/wailsapp/wails (webview2 supported on Windows) and https://github.com/mozilla/pdf.js for a PDF processing related use case.

    Wails because I imagine extensive Golang based services (preference/experience) in any cloud env. C# would be my other approach for O365 based integrations.

    Rust has something similar to wails, https://github.com/tauri-apps/tauri . Then there all the traditional native vs cross-platform methods.

    No approach, or cross platform framework, really seem quite right. But I figure time and money would be the important factors in any serious avenue I want to take things.

  • SonarQube

    Static code analysis for 29 languages.. Your projects are multi-language. So is SonarQube analysis. Find Bugs, Vulnerabilities, Security Hotspots, and Code Smells so you can release quality code every time. Get started analyzing your projects today for free.

  • magic-wormhole

    get things from one computer to another, safely

    > It still seems more viable to start with a standalone, offline, Desktop solution that individual enterprise employees might consider trying / e.g. something like an app that replaces excel with better efficiencies. Maybe while building some SaaS-like component (advanced processing in cloud, API integrations, etc) that still opens the door for non-enterprise users.

    This is currently my approach -- not making a living (yet hopefully) -- but will report back soon. I have a baddie of a productivity tool that can fragment features to a few pay per use web APIs that I'll package with a front end for non-enterprise.

    A slight tangent: It's very, very challenging to enable collaboration in these types of environments. Magic Wormhole [0] has been an interesting solution I've wanted to integrate, but haven't yet.

    [0] https://github.com/magic-wormhole/magic-wormhole

  • OpenRefine

    OpenRefine is a free, open source power tool for working with messy data and improving it

  • pareto-mac

    Automatically audit your Mac for basic security hygiene.

  • score

    ossia score, an interactive sequencer for the intermedia arts

  • Introducing .NET Multi-platform App UI (MAUI)

    .NET MAUI is the .NET Multi-platform App UI, a framework for building native device applications spanning mobile, tablet, and desktop.

    Have you looked into .NET MAUI yet? I'm cautiously optimistic, but haven't dug into it. Should be releasing Q2 this year.

    https://github.com/dotnet/maui

  • beekeeper-studio

    Modern and easy to use SQL client for MySQL, Postgres, SQLite, SQL Server, and more. Linux, MacOS, and Windows.

    I installed beekeeper[1], an electron AppImage, this afternoon on a 11th gen Acer spin 713 chromebook. You just need to have linux support enabled in the Dev settings. Only newer, higher end chromebooks have the linux support feature. I prefer dbeaver, but there appears to be some kind of GTK dpi scaling issue with it.

    1.https://www.beekeeperstudio.io/

NOTE: The number of mentions on this list indicates mentions on common posts plus user suggested alternatives. Hence, a higher number means a more popular project.

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