Coding With Processing, Part 5

Now we’re getting somewhere! In Chapter 7 of Daniel Shiffman’s Learning Processing, I learned how to define a function, which makes coding repeated objects so much easier. For this exercise, I had to define a function (named drawFlower) that drew a flower. I defined variables for the placement of each flower and the color of its petals. Here’s the result:

Here’s the code:

void setup() {
size(600, 400);

void draw() {
//Sky-blue background
background(0, 191, 255);

//For the drawFlower function, enter the x-coordinate of the flower’s center,
//the y-coordinate, and the r, g, b values for the petals.
drawFlower(100, 85, color(255, 255, 0));
drawFlower(200, 100, color(255,69,0));
drawFlower(150, 200, color(218,112,214));
drawFlower(300, 225, color(230,230,250));
drawFlower(400, 80, color(250,250,210));
drawFlower(480, 150, color(255,99,71));
drawFlower(440, 230, color(138,43,226));

void drawFlower(int centerX, int centerY, color c) {

//Draw the stem
stroke(0, 255, 100);
line(centerX, centerY + 15, centerX, centerY + 115);

//Draw the leaves
fill(0, 255, 100);
ellipse(centerX-40, centerY+40, 80, 20);
ellipse(centerX+40, centerY+40, 80, 20);

//Draw the center of the flower
ellipse(centerX, centerY, 30, 30);

//Draw the petals
ellipse(centerX, centerY+40, 20, 40);
ellipse(centerX-40, centerY, 40, 20);
ellipse(centerX+40, centerY, 40, 20);
ellipse(centerX, centerY-40, 20, 40);



Coding With Processing, Part 4

I’m continuing to work my way through Daniel Shiffman’s Learning Processing. Here is the result of incorporating variables and conditionals into my Lesson One Project: a bouncing dog that stays within the viewing window:

You can view the actual project here:

Here is the code:

float x = 200;
float y = 0;
int speedX = 1;
float speedY = 0;
float gravity = 0.1;

void setup() {
//Set window size
void draw() {
//Draw a black background

//Set ellipses and rects to CENTER mode

//Change the x location by speedX
x = x + speedX;
//If dog reaches edge, reverse course
if ((x > width)|(x < 0)) {
speedX = speedX*-1;

//Start y dropping
y = y + speedY;
speedY = speedY + gravity;

//Draw the body
rect(x, y, 300,150);

//Draw the head
ellipse(x+225, y, 150,200);

//Draw the mouth and nose
line(x + 200, y + 40, x + 250, y + 40);
line(x + 225, y – 25, x + 225, y + 25);

//Draw the eyes
ellipse(x + 200, y- 30, 30, 50);
ellipse(x + 250, y – 30, 30, 50);

//Draw the legs
line(x – 100,y + 75,x – 150, y + 150);
line(x – 100, y + 75, x – 50, y + 150);
line(x + 100, y + 75, x + 50, y + 150);
line(x + 100, y + 75, x + 150, y + 150);

//Draw the tail
line(x – 150,y, x – 250, y – 100);

//Bounce back up
if (y > height) {
speedY = speedY*-0.95;
y = height;



Coding With Processing, Part 2

I’m continuing to work through Daniel Shiffman’s book, Learning Processing, and I have just finished the chapter on conditionals. I wrote a program that animates a rectangle and ellipse, and depending on their positions in the window their colors and shapes change. You can click here to see it run in

Here’s a gif of 3 seconds of it in action:



The Future of Coding? Check out Wolfram Language

Earlier this year, I taught a mini-course in computer coding, and it rekindled my interest in that science. I just came across a video where Stephen Wolfram (of Mathematica fame) previews a new language he’s been developing for 30 years. Here’s the official description:

Designed for the new generation of programmers, the Wolfram Language has a vast depth of built-in algorithms and knowledge, all automatically accessible through its elegant unified symbolic language. Scalable for programs from tiny to huge, with immediate deployment locally and in the cloud, the Wolfram Language builds on clear principles—and 25+ years of development—to create what promises to be the world’s most productive programming language.

It looks to be relatively easy to use, while incredibly powerful. In fact, I’ve never seen anything like it. From what I can tell, in many cases the coder can simply type what he or she would like to see, and Wolfram Language converts the text into code:



It links to the cloud, and data from WolframAlpha or any other site can be incorporated into it.

The video is 13 minutes long, but well worth your time if you’re interested at all in the future of coding:

Here is a link to the reference guide to Wolfram Language.