Processing is an excellent Java-based graphics programming environment.
I recently rediscovered Processing when I saw that MIT Press was releasing a new book on the tool. When I first saw it in its Alpha infancy, I did not pay much attention to Processing: “Why should I?” I asked — I had spent several years creating 2d & 3d graphics libraries for REALbasic that allow access to nearly the same functionality as Processing, and I was (and still am) happy using them.
The environment can get to be a bit tedious once your programs start to scale up in size — the developer’s of Processing call Processing programs ‘sketches’ for a good reason: “Small” allows for fast creation and experimentation. “Small” can also produce wonderful results. The graphics API provided by Processing is at once both low-level and easy to use.
However, my favorite aspect of Processing allows something that the REALbasic development environment does not: Processing is an immediate environment for sharing graphics programs because they can run in a web browser. No binary applications need to be compiled for different platforms, packaged, compressed, uploaded, downloaded, uncompressed & finally run to be experienced. And not one “Read Me” file ever has to be written.