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.

In version 2.0, now in beta, the Processing development group is removing support for the Java Applet. We ll wait until version 2.0 is settled before saying more about this.

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.