Processing & Aptana make a good couple

I’ve been learning Processing on and off for three or four months now since i started reading ‘Learning Processing‘ by Daniel Shiffman. A great book that makes learning easy and fun. One thing that frustrated me from the start was Processing’s own IDE (Integrated Development Environment).

Processing GUI on Windows Vista
The default Processing GUI (Windows)

Now there’s nothing wrong with PDE, it’s just quite limited. Having come from Aptana (and before that Eclipse) it’s missing quite a few features I’m used too. The main two being code complete and line numbers (Your current line number is displayed in the bottom left, but that’s it). Lucky it is possible to use either Aptana or Eclipse (since Aptana is a modivied version of Eclipse) to program Processing.

The Processing website has a great step by step tutorial on how to do this ‘Processing in Eclipse‘.

Using Aptana to program Processing
Aptana and Processing in harmony

Once complete you have all the features of the Eclipse IDE, including auto complete and line numbers (yay!). It will be a shame to not have all the code examples from PDE, but it’s always possible to copy and paste where needed.