Processing Critters

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Source code: sketch_080314a

I’ve been playing around some with Processing, this is the result. As I mentioned in my earlier article, Processing and NodeBox are quite similar. Processing has some more interactivity (better keyboard and mouse handling) built in, and it can do basic 3D. NodeBox has better color handling (gradients) and remarkable libraries (WordNet). But what it really comes down to is that NodeBox is Python (much easier to extend) and Processing is Java (still easier than straight Java, but a lot more code to do basic extensions). Now all we need is a quick-start programming environment like these for Flash (and before you tell me the Adobe Flash tools are for artists–I have used the Flash IDE and it is possibly the worst IDE I’ve ever experienced. Which is odd, because the Flex IDE is one of the best, better than XCode/Interface Builder in some ways).

All of which is the long way to say that I enjoyed making this little animation in Processing, but I’m ready to go back to working in Python now, thank you.

Pipestreaming Microformats

My latest article for David Mertz’s column XML Matters on IBM’s developerWorks site has been up for over a week now, but I’m finally coming up for air long enough to post about it. The title is Pipestreaming Microformats and it is a survey of attempts to apply the Unix pipe metaphor to XML content, then some blue-sky dreaming of how to apply that to microformats.

One thing I mention in the article is that Norm Walsh’s SXPipe would be cool to re-implement in Python using lxml. While I was writing the article and in the time since, lxml has been undergoing a flurry of activity the results of which (among other cool things) are that it now has Python eggs for easy install on Windows, OS X, and Linux. So I think it’s ready, I just need to find time to spend with that project. If there is interest in such a thing, let me know so I can bump the priority up.