Java and Processing

edited February 2015 in General Discussion

I grew very interested in learning Java. I got a book, and started reading it. And now I have a number of questions:

  • I got through a number of chapters and now I am looking for the visual library. But...wait... Processing is a visual library for Java, right? Does it mean I can install Java and use processing functions on it?
  • Are there other "truly" graphical libraries? (I found libGDX - but I couldn't understand whether it was the same as Processing, or not?)

Kind regards, Alex



  • Java does have a bunch of visual libraries, mostly OpenGL wrappers that allow you to use OpenGL from Java. Some examples include JOGL, LWJGL, libGDX, and JMonkeyEngine.

    But Processing isn't just a visual library. It's a bit like a separate language, built on top of Java, designed to make it easy to create visual and interactive programs without all the boilerplate of "normal" Java.

    If you're just starting out, I highly recommend using Processing for a while (shameless self-promotion: check out the Processing tutorials here).

    Processing is built on top of Java, so learning Processing is also learning Java sytnax. But Processing can also be used as a Java library, so yes, you can call Processing functions from a Java program, as long as the Processing jar is on your classpath. But Processing's real strength is the ability to not worry about Java at all.

    The libraries I mentioned above, including libGDX, are indeed Java libraries. I wouldn't recommend using them until you know a little bit more about the basics, and Processing is a great way to learn them.

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