A few weeks ago I had the joy of presenting a short paper on Praxis LIVE at the International Conference on Live Coding at McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada. While acting as an introduction to Praxis LIVE, the paper covered a few of the new features in v3 (finally released last week!).
One of the highlights of the conference for me was Andrew Sorensen’s keynote on The Art and Science of Livecoding. Andrew’s Extempore programming environment and his thoughts on cyber-physical programming have partly influenced recent developments in Praxis LIVE (I say “partly” because this was already the direction of flow! 🙂 ) As someone long interested in the interactions between arts, science and technology, it was great to see examples of these ideas in use in fields like physics and astronomy as well as audio and video.
Version 2 of Praxis LIVE brings in Processing as a core library, and adds a whole new OpenGL video pipeline with access to most of Processing’s features. Almost all of Praxis LIVE’s built-in components are now defined via the new live-code API, essentially as small sketches that can be defined and re-defined as your project is running. There are also a number of base components for creating completely custom components on-the-fly. Here we’ll explore how to use
video:gl:p3d to translate Processing’s TextureCylinder example into a Praxis LIVE component. You can see this in action in the Smoky 3D example.
Smoky 3D example running with cylinder code open for editing.
The JAudioLibs’ AudioServer API is a Java library loosely inspired by PortAudio. It was initially designed early in the development of Praxis LIVE in order to provide a common callback-based interface for working with low-latency audio. This API has since found its way into a variety of other projects, primarily by people wanting to use the JACK Audio Connection Kit from Java (JAudioLibs’ JNAJack was developed at the same time). Using the AudioServer API provides an application the ability to switch easily between JavaSound and JACK at runtime. It can also make working just with JavaSound a little easier.
Praxis LIVE & Hydrogen linked through JACK
For some time I have been considering how to extend the AudioServer API to improve runtime service discovery, provide better access to features of the underlying audio libraries, and make it easier for people to contribute new implementations. A recent email from Ollie Bown, developer of the excellent Beads audio library, prompted me to spend some time over the last week trying to finish this work (the development version of Beads has been using this API for some time).
TinkerForge is an excellent and easy to use open-source hardware solution for physical computing. Praxis LIVE is an open-source visual development environment, particularly (not exclusively) designed for working with audio & video, with the ability to run projects from the command line or as standalone (NetBeans runtime) applications. So, what happens when we bring these two worlds together?
This is best watched in full-screen HD!
Experimental support for a few TinkerForge components has been in Praxis LIVE for some time. However, in the weeks leading up to the last release, these were tidied up and expanded. There is now a concerted effort to complete these bindings, and promote Praxis LIVE as a (maybe the?) visual development environment for TinkerForge. Praxis LIVE is great for working with other media – use an IR sensor to control an OpenGL filter, shout to switch on a light, or use an OSC controller on your Android phone to control a servo. It’s also fun for just working with TinkerForge by itself.
If you’ve been following this blog or the Praxis code site for the last couple of months, you might be forgiven for thinking that not a lot had been happening. Actually that’s far from the case. I’ve been busy with a number of projects, one of which has seen some major additions to the Praxis code, and I’m now in the process of tidying that up for a new release. Some of the audio code has also been extracted and pushed to a separate repository (https://github.com/jaudiolibs/) of which more soon … but I digress. One thing that changed with the last Praxis LIVE release is that by default the Linux download is a .deb (Debian binary package) file, and I’ve been meaning to write up a how-to (for my benefit as much as yours!) since. So, here goes. Continue reading
Well, the subject of dark themes seems to have come up again in the NetBeans world recently, with Geertjan blogging about Stan Aubrecht’s dark theme for Nimbus. This looks great, though as you might have gathered from the look and feel of Praxis LIVE, I quite like dark look and feels! 🙂
Unfortunately, the problem with Nimbus is it’s still not officially supported in NetBeans due to some EDT issues (though seems much more stable than the last time I tried it). Also, to quote from Geertjan’s blog, “In Stan’s words, this is a “poor man’s” solution. There are some area that would need more tweaking, e.g., the top bar in the Options window. But it would mean changing code in NetBeans. This new module just adjust a few UIManager constants.” Well, as I blogged about in the Dark arts of NetBeans hackery, it is possible with some devious hackery to alter things like the top bar of the Options window, and this is done in Praxis LIVE, so I thought I’d have a go at providing a plugin for this look and feel that could be used within the NetBeans IDE (or other platform application).
NetBeans IDE running with Praxis LIVE look & feel
A (slightly belated) Happy New Year to you all, and news of a new Praxis LIVE release. Just squeaking in during the final fanfare of 2012 was Praxis LIVE build:121231, bringing some major work on the video pipeline, some nice UI improvements, dynamic component support, and the start of a TinkerForge binding (see video below).
Downloads – http://code.google.com/p/praxis/downloads/list
Release notes – http://code.google.com/p/praxis/wiki/ReleaseNotes