Despite my complaints about trying to run Processing in JavaScript in a browser, the recent port of Processing’s syntax to JavaScript has a lot of potential. Part of the underlying lesson here: platform-independence is cool. So where better to show that off than the iPhone/iPod Touch: a showpiece for Apple’s proprietary, platform-specific goodies.

German user mqwaq has ported the Processing.js port to iPhone. But it’s not the iPhone part that makes this so excellent, necessarily. Even cooler:

  • SpiderMonkey, Mozilla’s C implementation of JavaScript, runs underneath. That allows for greater speed, and —
  • It doesn’t require a browser to run. And —
  • The graphics engine is OpenGL ES, the cross-platform 3D spec for mobile/embedded devices.
  • And then he tweaked the whole thing to make it still faster.

The beauty of this to me, as well, is that the results can do all sorts of wonderful stuff — but you could easily bring the results to other mobile devices, too. (Hello, Android!) I’d still like to see Java on the iPhone, but it’s just one piece of the picture: the larger picture is the ability to make art with code on any platform using free and open-source code that works really well.

And credit where it’s due: the other reason this works well is that Apple’s done such a good job of making the OS and hardware interface work. This demonstrates that having a real OS has power not only when you’re using vendor-specific frameworks from Apple, but cross-platform frameworks, too. Now, if only Apple weren’t so restrictive about what they let you run.

Via Christopher Blizzard, who found this by way of JavaScript guru John Ressig who did the JS port in the first place.