Processing

Processing 3.5

Free
An integrated development environment for Processing programming language.
4.6  (25 votes)
3.5.4 (See all)

As an application, Processing is an integrated development environment for the programming language with the same name. Therefore, it inherits most of its advantages and drawbacks from it. The programming language originated as an attempt to simplify code writing, mostly for learning purposes; however, it began to be successfully used for real projects, mostly those involved in visual arts, like creating animations and interactive installations. Thus, it is appropriate for experts and beginners alike.

As it is a sort of layer on top of Java, Processing can readily import Java libraries and code. However, it also means that all its code needs to be translated into Java code to be run on your computer.

The Processing IDE has a friendly minimalistic interface composed of those elements usually present in similar applications. In this respect, there is a usual text editor, a pane to manage your project’s assets as well as a console. Luckily, the tool comes with multiple examples to try, and even more, they are available online.

In Processing, projects are called sketches and their different assets are stored in folders, which facilitates copying or moving a project to another computer. As you create your code, it is possible to preview it without much trouble at any moment. Fortunately, Processing comes with three built-in renderers.

To conclude, Processing supports developing projects that are mostly visual. In this regard, it is great for creating both Android and web apps. Unfortunately, it has some limitations when handling large amounts of data in the form of videos, bitmaps and sound. The product is open-source so there is no cost resulting from its use, but its developer encourages supporting the project via donations.

Pedro Castro
Editor rating:

Review summary

Pros

  • Straightforward minimalistic interface
  • Appropriate for any kind of user
  • Easy-to-manage projects
  • Three built-in renderers

Cons

  • May not be good to handle large amounts of data
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