jsprocessing_20080509.jpg

John Resig, of jQuery fame, released a port of the Processing visualization language for Javascript. Seriously, John is on fire:

The first portion of the project was writing a parser to dynamically convert code written in the Processing language, to JavaScript. This involves a lot of gnarly regular expressions chewing up the code, spitting it out in a format that the browser understands.

It works “fairly well” (in that it’s able to handle anything that the processing.org web site throws at it) but I’m sure its total scope is limited (until a proper parser is involved). I felt bad about tackling this using regular expressions until I found out that the original Processing code base did it in the same manner (they now use a real parser, naturally).

The full 2D API is implemented, with the exclusion of some features here and there between browsers (Firefox 3 is pretty full featured). You can interact with the Processing API directly from standard Javascript. This lets you make use of these drawing features by simply instantiating a Processing object, and then calling its various drawing methods.

Another capability is to write code natively in the Processing language. This allows you to make use of extended language features such as method overloading and classic inheritance, though it looks like type information is pretty much ignored.

John has many of the demos from processing.org working. Most of them are going to peg your CPU, but this is some seriously cool stuff to see working in a first release.

Javascript just got a lot more interesting.

Processing.js
Processing: open source data visualization language