If you’ve heard of or gotten into any Arduino or Wiring projects, then you have been acquainted with some great open-source languages and programming environments for writing your own code for hardware. If you ever wondered where they spawned from, well, Processing is their father!
Started by MIT graduates Ben Fry and Casey Reas back in 2001, Processing is based on coding languages like BASIC, and the MIT-based duo went on to create Arduino and Wiring! Processing was designed for easy understanding and digestibility-but directed towards visual and interactive media arts. It’s been utilized by both the programming and the art worlds and has been showcased at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, as well as in London, and in Paris, just to name a few! It’s been embraced by these communities and has taken a hand in the creation of posters and printed magazines, images and visualizations for music videos and films, and lends a helping hand in art installations! Check out this video by Phantogram, featuring Processing in action:
Hand-in-hand with visual arts is data visualization and infographics! Developers and data analysts in research labs love how easy it is to create relevant and eye-catching environments to be displayed and expounded upon easily. Processing also does wonders with development of new interfaces and services and has been implemented by tech giants Google and Intel. Below, Jer Thorp wonderfully compiled data from Twitter and MetaCarta and used Processing to visualize his findings, titled Just Landed:
To bridge Processing back to its development circle, Processing.js was implemented by JQuery’s John Reisig and has sparked the development of Processing versions that incorporate popular programming languages like Ruby, Python, and Scala! Processing is very fun and easy to learn, just go to openprocessing.org, create a profile, and start playing in the sandbox! Go learn in online classrooms, browse through the books they offer, and click through data collections uploaded by your peers!