From: Daniel Shiffman
Date: November 25, 2008 12:32:54 AM EST
I am super excited to share this announcement with the ITP community:
Processing 1.0 Launch
Today, on November 24, 2008, we launch the 1.0 version of the
Processing software. Processing is a programming language, development
environment, and online community that since 2001 has promoted
software literacy within the visual arts. Initially created to serve
as a software sketchbook and to teach fundamentals of computer
programming within a visual context, Processing quickly developed into
a tool for creating finished professional work as well.
Processing is a free, open source alternative to proprietary software
tools with expensive licenses, making it accessible to schools and
individual students. Its open source status encourages the community
participation and collaboration that is vital to Processing’s growth.
Contributors share programs, contribute code, answer questions in the
discussion forum, and build libraries to extend the possibilities of
the software. The Processing community has written over seventy
libraries to facilitate computer vision, data visualization, music,
networking, and electronics.
Students at hundreds of schools around the world use Processing for
classes ranging from middle school math education to undergraduate
programming courses to graduate fine arts studios.
+ At New York University’s graduate ITP program, Processing is taught
alongside its sister project Arduino and PHP as part of the foundation
course for 100 incoming students each year.
+ At UCLA, undergraduates in the Design | Media Arts program use
Processing to learn the concepts and skills needed to imagine the next
generation of web sites and video games.
+ At Lincoln Public Schools in Nebraska and the Phoenix Country Day
School in Arizona, middle school teachers are experimenting with
Processing to supplement traditional algebra and geometry classes.
Tens of thousands of companies, artists, designers, architects, and
researchers use Processing to create an incredibly diverse range of
+ Design firms such as Motion Theory provide motion graphics created
with Processing for the TV commercials of companies like Nike,
Budweiser, and Hewlett-Packard.
+ Bands such as R.E.M., Radiohead, and Modest Mouse have featured
animation created with Processing in their music videos.
+ Publications such as the journal Nature, the New York Times, Seed,
and Communications of the ACM have commissioned information graphics
created with Processing.
+ The artist group HeHe used Processing to produce their award-winning
Nuage Vert installation, a large-scale public visualization of
pollution levels in Helsinki.
+ The University of Washington’s Applied Physics Lab used Processing
to create a visualization of a coastal marine ecosystem as a part of
the NSF RISE project.
+ The Armstrong Institute for Interactive Media Studies at Miami
University uses Processing to build visualization tools and analyze
text for digital humanities research.
The Processing software runs on the Mac, Windows, and GNU/Linux
platforms. With the click of a button, it exports applets for the Web
or standalone applications for Mac, Windows, and GNU/Linux. Graphics
from Processing programs may also be exported as PDF, DXF, or TIFF
files and many other file formats. Future Processing releases will
focus on faster 3D graphics, better video playback and capture, and
enhancing the development environment. Some experimental versions of
ActionScript, Ruby, Python, and Scala; other adaptations bring
Processing to platforms like the OpenMoko, iPhone, and OLPC XO-1.
Processing was founded by Ben Fry and Casey Reas in 2001 while both
were John Maeda’s students at the MIT Media Lab. Further development
has taken place at the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea, Carnegie
Mellon University, and the UCLA, where Reas is chair of the Department
of Design | Media Arts. Miami University, Oblong Industries, and the
Rockefeller Foundation have generously contributed funding to the
The Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum (a Smithsonian Institution)
included Processing in its National Design Triennial. Works created
with Processing were featured prominently in the Design and the
Elastic Mind show at the Museum of Modern Art. Numerous design
magazines, including Print, Eye, and Creativity, have highlighted the
For their work on Processing, Fry and Reas received the 2008 Muriel
Cooper Prize from the Design Management Institute. The Processing
community was awarded the 2005 Prix Ars Electronica Golden Nica award
and the 2005 Interactive Design Prize from the Tokyo Type Director’s
The Processing website (www.processing.org) includes tutorials,
exhibitions, interviews, a complete reference, and hundreds of
software examples. The Discourse forum hosts continuous community
discussions and dialog with the developers.
Download images and more text about Processing:
Questions and Answers:
What is new in Processing 1.0?
The most important aspect of this release is its stability. However,
we have added many new features during the last few months. They
include a new optimized 2D graphics engine, better integration for
working with vector files, and the ability to write tools to enhance
the development environment.
Who uses Processing?
Processing is used by a very diverse group of people, from children
first exploring computer programming to professional artists,
designers, architects, engineers, and scientists. Processing has a
shallow learning curve to make writing code easier for beginners, but
it also allows more experienced programmers to write sophisticated
software. We’ve seen the number of people using Processing double each
year for the last three years. The increased stability of the software
and the publication of six related books in the last two years are the
likely reasons for this increase.
What is the future of Processing?
The 1.0 version of Processing focuses on education and software
sketching (prototyping). The next major release of the software will
focus on professional users while retaining the simplicity that is
Processing’s trademark. Specifically, future releases will increase
the speed of programs that work with video and complex 3D graphics.
Books about Processing:
Fry, Ben. Visualizing Data. Sebastopol, CA: O’Reilly Media, 2008.
Greenberg, Ira. Processing: Creative Coding and Computational Art.
Berkeley, CA: Friends of Ed, an Apress Co, 2007.
Igoe, Tom. Making Things Talk. Make: projects. Sebastopol, CA:
Reas, Casey, and Ben Fry. Processing: A Programming Handbook for
Visual Designers and Artists. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2007.
Shiffman, Daniel. Learning Processing: A Beginner’s Guide to
Programming Images, Animation, and Interaction. The Morgan Kaufmann
Series in Computer Graphics. Burlington, MA: Morgan Kaufmann/