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Book review: Processing 2 Creative Programming Cookbook

As an overview, the book covers significantly a wide range of topic from 3D drawing to peripheral libraries (videos, audios, OpenCV, etc.) as well as topics that are new to Processing 2.0 (Processing.js and mobile programming) that I have not seen described on other books before. I find this is very new; open source communities prefer webs to keep resources up to date. This is also the case for Processing. Since paper materials could get easily out of date in these restless fields, publishers tends to avoid such a risk. As a result lots of topics concerning Processing have not been covered on paper books yet. However, I always prefer getting information from a paper book to through webs. I would like to highly rate this book in terms of the fact that more than a half of the book’s content is first introduced on a paper material.

Throughout the book, I feel this book is a collection of tutorials rather than a cookbook. Each chapter describes one large theme which is divided into small consecutive recipes that are written in the step-by-step way. This is very helpful to a novice who knows nothing about it; everything will work by just following the book. However, since every small step is monotonously described no matter how important it is, it is hard to find the core of a subject even in the second time of reading.

Each chapter describes an introduction part of its theme and no advanced part. In fact a recipe has the “There’s more” section, where the author directs advanced users to resources beyond the book. It is so introductive that one easily understands on a single reading and won’t need to read it again. In my opinion a cookbook must be one dealing with topics that are hard to keep in mind or must be one with whom one could work more easily and more efficiently. This is a major reason why I won’t call the book cookbook. If the book were more tailored to daily usage (like a dictionary), described more deeply, or had more advanced topics, the book would be more valuable.

In the end, the book is not a collection of techniques and/or algorithms for drawing aesthetics. If you are the one who seeks for such a subject, this book is not for you. If you want to grab what could be done with Processing and to know how to do it, this book would be a good starting point.

Processing 2: Creative Programming Cookbook

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