Turning PenPot into an installable PWA

I was doing some tests with PenPot and noticed would be handy to have it installed as a PWA on my device(s). If I use Microsoft Edge I can force install any website, which helped with the testing. PenPot runs flawlessly this way and maybe if added some tweaks to be more integrated with system native APIs, overall experience could be way better.

There is some explanation on how to do it here: PWABuilder

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Hi @RenanMayrinckDesign

This theme is already discussed, the PWA looks like one and not exclusive details of implementation on how make penpot work more like desktop app with additional desktop native functionalities, being the offline work as one of star feature. More discussion here about this here: FAQ - How can I make Penpot work offline? - #2 by itsezc

We just can’t handle a such big “enhancement” like, “support PWA”, because PWA means too many things to for different people and can be break in a great bunch of different features. If you miss something concrete and want to elaborate a concrete enhancement that will approach penpot to be more and more PWA ready, I invite you to do it. The big and generic enhancement request will probably open a discussion but will not progress further, because to create a task for it without a concrete thing to do, is a bit complicated for us to priorice and implement in a reasonable time… (also knowing that we are small team and there are too many other features waiting in the same queue).

Hi @niwinz

My thing was just with the installation itself. I’m using Microsoft Edge, which allows me to force-install any website, but people on other browsers probably cannot do that. By the way, one of the models of building a PWA is that it can be always online (pretty much as PenPot works right now) which is a good thing because this model can be changed anytime by changing a file whenever devs feel comfortable to make it work offline. (see PWABuilder instructions for more details on this).

Hi @RenanMayrinckDesign I’m not entirely sure of your use case here. Did you read the thread that @niwinz suggested? Penpot needs a backend server regardless of how you deploy it. Just going for a PWA won’t be enough. Could you perhaps add to the conversation here? FAQ - How can I make Penpot work offline?

My guess is that you’d like to have the “desktop experience” use case, that is, the first use case I mention. Would that be so? If that’s true, PWABuilder won’t help much, we need to package the entire “client-server” thing.

Note sur why a PWA is a complex thing… Most SaaS apps i use are basically the online version in an Electron container or something like that…

BTW I found what might be a suitable workaround for people looking for a desktop app : Penpot Desktop App for Mac and PC | Manage Multiple Penpot Accounts

You have ton install webcatalog and then it offers you to install an encapsulation of Penpot Web App to run on your desktop. It seems to be working on my Linux

EDIT : apparently it’s even simpler with Natfivefier → GitHub - nativefier/nativefier: Make any web page a desktop application

OK apparently someone already made a desktop app for penpot : GitHub - KorbsStudio/Penpot-Desktop

Just tried to install and I’,m not able, got an error.

Anyone can help me?

Sorry about the delay guys, was a bit busy with some other stuff…

When I was talking about becoming an installable PWA I wasn’t thinking about the application when built elsewhere work in this model, I was talking about the website version only.

The source can have instructions for people who want to do this on their own to make things easier for them, but my idea was about the website of the penpot app, not the whole application. It could start just being an easier way to open it, and then getting more resources overtime.

If anyone is curious of how this experience can be (or how to have a semi-native experience with Penpot) you can just get to the site using Microsoft Edge and them prompt it to install the website as an app, the (visual) result will be the same I am trying to say here.

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