Finally I finished the video from FlashGAMM 2011 Moscow where we exhibited our multi-touch table with Fluid Pong game based on MSA Fluid library. The game was developed using Scala and Processing and was a major success at the conference.
Multi-touch Fluid Pong from InteractiveLab on Vimeo.
What’s more, it is open source and is availabale at GitHub.
If you’ve read a book about some new technology it doesn’t necessarily mean that you learned or even understood it. Without practice your newly acquired knowledge will vanish soon. That’s why doing exercises from the book you are reading is important.
But all those examples are usually boring. Of course you can start your own pet project to master your skills. Several months ago to learn Scala I started my little command line tool which semi-worked at the end and I gave up on it. So, in a month or so I had to google syntax of “for loop”…
That’s where I decided that I should start writing simple examples for different Scala features that must be fun. Here’s where Processing comes into play. Using it, every novice like me can turn dull exercises into visual installations. And later you can try advanced stuff like fractals, particle systems or data visualisation.
You might be wondering what the hell is Scala. It’s a relatively new and extremely cool programming language. You can read more about it on Wikipedia or on official web site.
I rewrote in Scala and posted to GitHub several cool examples. One of them is on the left picture – famous MSA Fluid Processing sketch.
When I first met Scala I fell in love with the language immediately. I looked through a couple of books including Programming in Scala which I recommend to everyone. Even theory alone allowed me to change my perception of programming at the whole. Too bad that my day to day job doesn’t involve Scala in any way. Even the language I use mostly is in many ways different from Scala. No, this language is not Processing.
I guess now is a good time to introduce Processing because there’s a chance you haven’t heard of it at all. I’m not even talking about that you actually worked with Processing. Of course it’s great if you did.
Anyway, Processing is basically a DSL for Java with a little IDE and a mix of useful libraries. It’s mainly used by so-called Visual Artists to render generative art work. I recommend you to check out Processing channel on Vimeo. There’s really a lot of cool stuff!
Scala is hard. To use its syntax sugar you have to know what’s going on.