Introduction To Processing

Processing Development Environment (PDE)Processing is an open source Java programming environment that was conceived in 2001 by Benjamin Fry and Casey Reas, and is continually being maintained and developed by them today along with an ever growing community.


Processing is available for Mac OS X, Windows and GNU/Linux, so you can use it on pretty much anything. This is a big bonus since it was designed with the intention of being a live programming environment for Java as well as a computational design education tool.

As Java is cross-platform, it is only logical that Processing be as well.

In 2005, Processing won a Golden Nica from the Prix Ars Electronica international cyber-arts competition. Subsequently in 2006 the Rockefeller Foundation awarded Fry and Reas with a New Media Fellowship in order to help fund and support the continued development of Processing environment.

Processing has been used in quite a few big productions as well, aside from live programming (also know as VJing). Fry alone has had works created using Processing appear in the movies “The Hulk” and “Minority Report”.

Considering how widely it is used and how long it has been around, it is interesting to note, that it is currently only in version 1.0 BETA still.

Processing aims to remove the need to spend time setting up a graphics rendering environment, it’s already done. So all you need to do is get in there and code some graphics.

The Processing Development Environment (PDE) is designed to behave much like a sketchbook. Just open a new tab and you’ve got a new file to code in, it’s as simple as that. This keeps all of your related sketches (programs) in an easy to navigate “sketchbook”.

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