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Start communicating ideas and diagramming data in a more interactive way. In this course, author Barton Poulson shows how to read, map, and illustrate data with Processing, an open-source drawing and development environment. On top of a solid introduction to Processing itself, this course investigates methods for obtaining and preparing data, designing for data visualization, and building an interactive experience out of a design. When your visualization is complete, explore the options for sharing your work, whether uploading it to specialized websites, embedding the visualizations in your own web pages, or even creating a desktop or Android app for your work.
In this movie I'll introduce you to Processing and outline some of its key features. The first thing you see when you open Processing is the Processing Development Environment or PDE. In most other programming applications this is known as the IDE or Integrated Development Environment. And what you have here at the very top is the Files Edit Sketch menus. Beneath that you have the Processing toolbar with a play and stop button as well as a button to get a new sketch, to Open, Save or Export an application.
Beneath that is a tab with the name of the file. Right now it just simply says sketch and it gives the date and the little section sign at the end means that there are unsaved changes. When you begin to have sketches that use, for instance, objects created in various classes, you might have additional tabs. But, many simple sketches don't have any extra tabs at all. Beneath that the large white area is the Text Editor, where you type in your code. The next section down is the message area, where Processing will let you know, for instance, that it has imported a file or let you know that there are error messages.
The black area beneath that is the console, where it will print out a text of an error message or if you ask it to print out some text as part of your sketch, that's where it will appear. Now, whenever you run a sketch in Processing, you'll also get a display window. I'll do a very quick one. All I'm doing here is setting the size of the display window and I've put size 600 pixels wide, 200 pixels tall, finish with a semicolon(;). If I hit Run, there's my display window.
Right now it's got nothing in it, except a gray background. But, you see that it has the same name as a sketch that I just ran. Even if you run a sketch that has no graphics, you'll always have a display window pop up. If you're doing a graphics-free one you can simply ignore it. Now, if you're accustomed to using an external code editor like Textmate or a Notepad ++, you can also arrange to do that in Processing, by simply changing the Preferences. I'll close this sketch window. And I'll go to the Preferences by clicking Ctrl+, on a PC or Cmd+, on a Mac, and what you see here is first; the Processing sketchbook location, set that wherever you want, that's where your sketch is as well as any imported libraries will need to go.
You can change the Editor font size. You have the option of selecting Use smooth text in the editor window, I did that. You can Increase the maximum available memory. I bumped it up to a 1 GB of memory. And then you see it a few steps where you can use an External editor if you want. I, on the other hand, prefer to use the Processing Editor because it does color coding and because it gives better information on error messages. I'll close this now. Now, one of the neat things about Processing is that it comes with a really wide selection of sample sketches.
All you need to do is go up to File and down to Examples and then you can click open the examples that you have in here. For instance, I have Lights, Directional Lights which will be a 3D sketch and I can click Run and then by moving my mouse I can control the direction of the light in this 3D drawing. I can close that.
I can close that sketch and I can open up another one for instance, Typography. And this loads the fonts that are available. I can also close the sketch by hitting Ctrl+W. When you add external libraries or collections of code, they will also bring in their own sample sketches in the same folder as the other ones that we just saw.
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