during the pandemic, processing reignited my interest in programming after a ten year hiatus.
i dropped out of university out of disgust with the industry and did nothing for about a decade. but art coding was just the best option in lockdown, when i was injured and couldn't go outside much, and the only other option was staring at the nightmare rectangle.
thanks processing. i still hate the industry though. not sure what i'm gonna do about that.Reply
I’ve had the inverse experience: I was a programmer before and Processing got me into art in a way that let me leverage my existing skill set.
Processing brought back the feelings that initially got me into programming: the sense of being able to do create anything.
I share my works here btw; https://instagram.com/asfandyar.codeartReply
I took a really awful* graphics programming course during my Masters degree, to the point where I didn't drop, stayed in, and took the bad grade just to leave a final review about how bad it was. I later discovered processing and graphics programming was a breeze. That is really what the course should have been taught in. I've used it multiple times since to make animated graphics for videos, 3d text that I couldn't figure out how to make in Photoshop or Gimp, and a visualization for the cue ball's departure angle in billiards.
*I believe my issue was it never built up the mental model of OpenGL to the point that I couldn't comprehend the difference between a VAO and VBO. Reply
helping others with their processing code is what started me on the road to being a professional coder, and the article captures perfectly what it does exceptionally right. it's the glue-gun of programming environments--a super fast way to prototype and visualize an idea.
it makes me tear my hair out for the thing it lacks: a path to a production-worthy version. It encourages bad programming practices for the sake of simplicity (all tabs share a single namespace; global variables everywhere) which all but guarantee that once a sketch has reached a certain level of complexity it's a tangled mess of spaghetti.
Refactoring it at that point is A) challenging, and B) changes the api so much that the poor non-coder who's asked you to fix their broken code hates the new restrictions.Reply
> To get people into coding, let them build stuff right away. […] Fry talks about one of his original motives: He wanted to create a language that let newbies a) start making cool-looking visual creations b)very quickly.
This really is a great goal. I love processing for this reason. Also Arduino - it’s the hardware version of the same thing. Same goes for ShaderToy. And I kinda consider Python to almost be a language equivalent of this goal (even though there are lots of decidedly simpler & easier languages).
But I feel like this telling of the story is leaving out the lineage and inspirations of this idea, since it long predates Processing, and there a lot of notable milestones. Logo was founded on the same concept, and I got some of the same thrill from making pictures quickly back when I was a kid. It was so much easier to get something interesting done compared to almost any other language / environment.
I’d love to hear what people consider other meaningful versions of this, before and after Logo. I’m curious if environments like DrawBot and NodeBox, which started around the same time that Processing did, share direct connections, or only share inspirations.Reply
Much love for processing!
Back when I was starting school and learning programming I also picked up an Arduino Duemilanove and learned Wiring and Processing which went together like peanut butter and jam. What an amazing time. I recall getting some of my processing apps to run on my Sony Erricson phone as they once had a way to convert the Processing sketches to a Java Mobile Edition apps (back before Andriod was widespread)Reply
It might be worth mentioning that Khan Academy's main CS course has been based on an in-browser Processing.js environment, since even before P5 existed.Reply
OPENRNDR is worth checking out for anyone interested in processing https://openrndr.org/
It avoids a lot of the weirdness that processing has in its relation with Java and meets somewhere between that and open frameworks.
Great to check out if you've been looking for a playground to get familiar with Kotlin too!Reply
As much as I admire Processing for making it easy to draw pixels on the screen, something that seems to get more difficult every year, I do find it very difficult to use as a teaching tool. Going from Hello World to something more intricate is a bumpy ride with very few affordances, the feed through from drawing a rect to interfacing with I/O is, while obviously a difficult problem, non-existent. "Creative coding" also requires both a high degree of mathematical and artistic capability in order to be something other than a soup of primary color on the screen, something beginning programmer (esp. "non-technical" ones) tend to struggle with.
Then there is also the famous Bret Victor article: http://worrydream.com/LearnableProgramming/
That said, I still really admire what they did and how extremely influential it has been. Just a small thing like how the the Processing IDE was forked to create the Arduino IDE attests to how Processing continues to reverberate throughout history.Reply
Processing is the best tool I know to make people get impressed by, interested in and wanting to learn programming.Reply
Can people please, for the love of all that is sacred or for whatever God they believe in, stop posting on medium? I really don't want to have an account for reading articles. What a anti-pattern.Reply
Probably historical reasons.
Back in the days, Processing was the only game in town and then P5 built on that reputation.
I found the programming model of these solutions to be rather convulted and think D3 would lead to a much better entry into coding.Reply
the p5.js has an account system and an online editor, which is fun to play around with, but not needed. Its got fun interactive examples too:https://processing.org/examples
I stumbled across it when someone left Dan Shiffman's book "the nature of code" on our buildings swap table. https://natureofcode.com/
Dan has a youtube channel. Its kinda a weird mix of children's themes and advance math. The tutorials are great however.Reply
After learning C as the first language in college, I was sure that programming wasn't for me till I was introduced to processing and p5 js. Processing was a blessing for me.Reply
This is how I got into programming.Reply
Processing might not be directly relevant in industry, but that's about the only thing it doesn't have going for it as a computing playground / way to get started with programming.
* Terrific official documentation (not just API docs but plenty of high quality examples and tutorials that are beginner-friendly without being stupid or patronizing)
* A couple great books (Nature of Code)
* Some great third party tutorials as well: https://funprogramming.org/
* Dead simple to get running; dead simple to start getting nice animations on screen; small and focused API; hot reloading
* Inspiring community filled with intelligent, creative people at the intersection of the arts and academiaReply