Processing and Eclipse

Last update : January 21, 2014

Processing is an open source programming language and environment for people who want to program images, animation, and interactions. It is used by students, artists, designers, researchers, and hobbyists for learning, prototyping, and production.

Processing is an open project initiated by Ben Fry and Casey Reas. It evolved from ideas explored in the Aesthetics and Computation Group at the MIT Media Lab. Development of Processing began formally in the Spring of 2001, the first alpha release 0001 was used in August 2001, the version 1.0 was released on 24th November 2008, a few days after the last beta version (release 157). Version 2 was released on September 5, 2013. The current version is 2.1 launched on October 27, 2013.

Processing programs can be easely exported to run on the web as Jas applications to run on Windows, Linux, Mac OS X or Android, as Java applets / Java projects or as Javascript web projects. Processing scripts are called sketches. Sometimes it might be useful to combine a Processing sketch with a general Java project, which is best done in Eclipse.

A tutorial how to use Processing in Eclipse is available on the Processing website. The following code has been saved as file and runs succesfully as applet in Eclipse.

import processing.core.*;
public class MyFirstSketch extends PApplet{

public void setup() {
size (400,400);
public void draw() {
stroke (255);
if (mousePressed) {
line (mouseX,mouseY,pmouseX,pmouseY);

To embed the applet in a webpage, the generated MyEclipseSketch.class file was added to the Processing archive core.jar and I renamed the archive file to eclipse_sketch.jar. The html code to display the applet is very easy :

<applet code=”MyEclipseSketch.class” archive=”eclipse_sketch.jar”/>