Processing vs Java

The big picture

Processing is all of the following:

Processing programs are written without the “overhead” of Java classes, constructors, exceptions, or events. Almost all Processing programs are written using a succinctly documented API.

The UNCA picture

Processing has been used in CSCI 182 and CSCI 273 (ST: Processing) since the Spring 2009 semester. These courses have always been considered an appropriate prerequisite for CSCI 202.

The detailed picture

The Processing IDE has a preprocessor that transforms Processing into Java.

The preprocessor adds appropriate modifiers, such as public, to method definitions. It also makes minor source code changes such as changing Processing-style casting, int(x), to calls to Processing methods, PApplet.parseInt(x), and changing Processing-style colors, #A52A2A, to integers, 0xFFA52A2A. Most importantly, the preprocessor wraps the Processing program inside a Java class.

The Java program must import and extend the PApplet class which is implemented in the jar file core.jar distributed with Processing. The PApplet has a well-documented Javadoc file that describes most of the operators of the Processing API.

Processing without its IDE

It is possible to write Processing programs using plug-ins for either Eclipse or NetBeans. Many programmer prefer these IDE’s because they make the task of writing and debugging large programs easier.