I’ve only had supportive and constructive interactions with members of the Processing Foundation. When they officially respond to Ben Fry’s comments, I’m sure it will be thoughtful.
Processing and Arduino were the first coding environments that fit my brain. They were fun to work in and made me feel like I could create anything. When I started teaching with them, my students felt the same way. I wandered into Processing Community Day at UCLA in 2019 to find inspiration. I drew connections between land art and the internet, hacked a toy server, cast spells with code, and even gave a lightning talk despite my social anxiety. Dorothy Santos invited me to volunteer, and it felt like the cool kids had welcomed me into their club.
I remember watching the discussion between Ben Fry, Lauren McCarthy, Casey Reas, and Dan Shiffman. It moved me to see people who inspire me so much surrounded by the community they cultivated. Cut to the present tense and it feels like watching my favorite band break up.
Processing and p5.js are fundamental to the ways I learn, create, and teach. The community and the software both need investment. Balance is a matter of perspective.
I’d love to see estimates for the effort required to resolve all open issues in Processing and p5.js. That includes their cores, core libraries (i.e., sound), and editors. The platforms are stable, so what investments are needed to sustain them as of today? What’s the ideal scenario on mobile? AR/VR?
I’d also love to see a new Python strategy. Python is the most popular programming language in the world, especially among beginners. One should generally meet the world where it is.
Jython is progressing very slowly and its limitations are well known. py5 is already great and could grow in interesting directions. For one data point, the Raspberry Pi Foundation mimics py5 in the browser. They used a shim I wrote years ago to make p5.js work with Skulpt. That feels a lot like the current Jython situation. PyScript looks promising here.
It’d be neat to write a sketch in Python that moves seamlessly between web and native based on the coder’s needs.