January 27th, 2009



I’d been hearing about Processing for quite a while. Apparently, it’s the grown-ups Logo. Which is to say, where Logo was fun and educational, Processing is fun and for artists.

I miss Logo.

But, yesterday I “officially” started reading The New Turing Omnibus. The very first chapter is about the description of algorithms. High-level vs. low-level. Recipies vs. instructions. Yadda vs. blah blah.

More importantly, the algorithm used for demonstration purposes is graphical:


  1. input corna, cornb
  2. input side
  3. for i ← 1 to 100
    1. for j ← 1 to 100
      • xcorna + i × side/100
      • ycornb + j × side/100
      • cint(x2 + y2)
      • if c even
        • then plot(i, j)

This wouldn’t normally excite me. But, the following page had a figure (1.2) of an “algorithmic wallpaper.”


I started reminiscing about the days when my programs made cool shit appear on screen. And programming environments were judged on how they could make it happen. Logo? Awesome. BASIC? Yeah, ok. C? Potentially the best thing ever!

Putting cool shit on screen was almost a requirement. And it hasn’t died:

With all of that, though, I realized something— it had died with me.

I haven’t been responsible for putting cool shit on screen in... well, I couldn’t remember.

Which brings us back to Processing. Thanks to it, everything is alright.

(and if your web browser doesn’t immediately panic, view the source)