Re: [-empyre-] Re: empyre Digest, Vol 12, Issue 26

ian hobbs wrote:
Yes processing is a fun little application - although I suspect for introductory programming,
It's not going to make the grade. I use flash and actionscript for introductory programing
because of it's verbose and natural ( like english) syntax.

Processing is one of many cute little graphic apps that produce narrow visual expressions.

I can't say I understand or agree with either of the two statements above. Firstly, Processing is perfect for introductory programming. Secondly, Processing is not a "graphic app", nor does it produce a narrow visual expression.

I've been using Processing as a tool to teach computational design and generative form to students with a primarily visual background. Because of its simplified Java syntax it allows beginners to get coding within minutes, without having to learn about compilers, IDEs or a complicated environment like Flash. Students can then gradually advance to more abstract concepts like advanced data structures and object oriented programming. There are now a number of people developing extensions to the Processing libraries by providing "plug-in" classes with new functionality.

One of the central concepts behind Processing is to make students "unlearn" the hardwired software metaphors of environments like Flash, Director or Photoshop. Instead, one starts from scratch. This has the virtue of allowing many possible expressions, although it might be limiting for professional use because there is none of the infrastructure that professional software has for working with digital media files.

At the moment, I would recommend using Processing for learning, teaching and developing prototypes. This is what the tool has been developed to do. However, there are already a number of people using Processing to create software pieces for online viewing, VJ performances, sound synthesis etc.

For examples of two workshops I've taught with Processing, look at:

The motherlode of information about Processing is of course at

Marius Watz - Amoeba / Unlekker

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