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Prix 1987 - 2007

Ars Electronica Linz & ORF Oberösterreich

Benjamin Fry, Processing community , Casey Reas

Processing is a programming language and environment built for the electronic arts community. It was created to teach fundamentals of computer programming within a visual context and to serve as a software sketchbook. The software exports Java applets which can be simply uploaded to the Internet and shared. Processing.org is the online hub for the international community of people using the software. Processing is used by students, artists, designers, architects, and researchers for learning, prototyping, and production. It has been used for creating academic exercises, information visualization, art installations, posters, video games, animation, and music videos. Processing was created because we thought we could develop a better tool for creating our research and art projects and could simultaneously develop a better environment for teaching concepts of software and interaction within art and design schools.

Processing takes advantage of the strengths of Internet technologies and this has allowed the project to grow in unexpected ways. Thousands of students, educators, and practitioners across five continents are involved in using the software. Contributors are found remotely in cities including Bogotà, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Turin, London, Boston, New York, and Los Angeles. The Processing Discourse section of the website, an online bulletin board, has over two thousand members, with a subset actively commenting on each others work and helping others with technical questions. Many talented practitioners and students have been rapidly learning and publishing their software and code online, thus inspiring and teaching others. Many classes taught using Processing publish the complete curriculum on the Web and students publish their software assignments and source code for others to learn from. To date, the online reference has been translated into Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Indonesian, French, Spanish, Italian, and Turkish and more should be completed by Summer 2005. Affiliated websites have been introduced in Japanese and Hebrew to foster communities in these nations. These efforts extend the Processing network beyond the English speaking world.

Processing started in 2001 and has been continually growing. 2005 is the most important year to date for the project. We are making the first public release of the software with the launch of the beta release. OpenGL, a 3D graphics library, has been integrated into the environment, making it possible to create much faster and larger projects. The core libraries have been improved to make it easier to, for example, send and receive data over the Internet and communicate with external hardware such as cameras. The language has also been extended to make it easier execute many tasks, for example, using arrays and parsing data.

Processing is free software and available for Windows, Mac, and Linux.