Christmas comes early

I was delighted to learn that Processing 1.0 shipped last night. What is it? To quote from their web site:

Processing is an open source programming language and environment for people who want to program images, animation, and interactions. It is used by students, artists, designers, researchers, and hobbyists for learning, prototyping, and production. It is created to teach fundamentals of computer programming within a visual context and to serve as a software sketchbook and professional production tool. Processing is an alternative to proprietary software tools in the same domain.

Processing is free to download and available for GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows. Please help to release the next version!

Processing is an open project initiated by Ben Fry and Casey Reas. It evolved from ideas explored in the Aesthetics and Computation Group at the MIT Media Lab.

I first came across Processing about a year ago, and was quite excited about it given the price points of the software it was displacing. We need more tools like this, tools solving generic problems efficiently, elegantly and effortlessly. The only way we’re going to have more tools like this is if we as a community adopt them, adapt them, support them, enrich them. To get an idea of what can be done with Processing, take a look here:

Radiohead and REM have used Processing to create some of the animation they’ve used in their videos; mags like SEED and Nature have used the suite to create info graphics; Nike and Budweiser commercials have featured Processing output; hundreds of schools across the US use the software in a variety of ways. So go ahead, have some fun with it, learn to use it, contribute to it.

I’m looking forward to playing with the tools over the Christmas break, there is so much I can learn from this.

And, keeping the Christmas theme intact, here’s a still from Galactic Christmas:

Let me know what you think

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