I’ve been playing around with Processing a bit lately, and I have to say that I’m impressed with it’s potential. What is is anyway you ask? Well, let’s say you get this idea of representing twitter feeds in a cool graphical way. Or maybe you feel like creating a graphical representation of a zombie apocalypse. Or write a small game?
If you suck at OpenGL, DirectX or lack general graphics programming skill, Processing is here to help. Processing gives you a high level programming language, and a framework that takes care of all the boring low lever nitty gritty of graphics programming, enabling you to quickly poor those ideas into a working piece of code. You can use it to create 3D or 2D shapes, mess around with bitmaps, colors, and animate the whole lot if you like. The programming language itself is very close to Java, because the whole thing is actually written in it. It contains all the necessary goodies a good scripting language has such as functions, classes, inheritance etc.
Since Processing consist of Open Souce awesomeness, a growing list of additional libraries will be able to assist you in your most ambitious and exotic ideas. A number of music related libraries have already surfaced for example which combined with the graphical engine allows you to create some interactive VJ-eske sight and sound applications. If this gets you interested, check out these expositions which give you a pretty good idea of what the potential of this programming tool.