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that is, the Processing programming language.

I saw a tag "processing" and used that, but none of the other questions with the same tag seem to be about the unfortunately named language called "Processing".

update: I'm in a Processing class at work now, and I've just learned that it was originally called Proce55ing. Aside from the name, it's otherwise a really neat visualization environment. Check it out at!

update 2: It turns out Processing is a Java thing and not its own language, although the project's web site does suggest that. Therefore, Konrad's suggestion seems most logical, and removing all the random "processing" tags will be a good thing overall.

Processing is an open source programming language and environment for people who want to program images, animation, and interactions.

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

IMHO, the tag in most questions serves no purpose. It’s a general term like “accomplish”, “perform” or “solve-problem”. Programs process data, by definition.

So I’m suggesting to remove the tag from all those questions that don’t relate to the programming language.

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Seconded. Other than for the programming language, it should be valid only in combinations, e.g. image-processing or video-processing. – Pëkka May 21 '10 at 11:56
@kiamlaluno I appreciate edits that fix things in my posts or tangibly improve them. But I resent edits that change my typography for the worse. – Konrad Rudolph Jan 17 '13 at 10:13
@KonradRudolph This is a good suggestion that is still relevant today (3 years later). It may be worth pointing out that Processing is not a programming language; it is a Java API, and an IDE. So, supporting your suggestion: Generally we always keep API tags for relevant questions (e.g. questions about Hibernate should be tagged hibernate) and clean up tags for irrelevant questions (e.g. questions about what bears do in the winter should not be tagged hibernate). Also, having accurate tag wiki descriptions at least helps make tag corrections easier later. – Jason C Mar 27 '14 at 16:47
@JasonC From the website: “Processing is a programming language”. There are also several implementations of it (e.g. Processing.js). – Konrad Rudolph Mar 27 '14 at 19:01
@KonradRudolph That is how they market it, but it is not the case. They take advantage of the least common denominator of Java and JavaScript and provide a platform in both languages to make their documented subset of Java and JavaScript capabilities work. This is a good thing, and they are reaching their target audience well. They provide a system that gives Processing developers an easy place to start, and they provide great support for all the language features they claim to support, but it is not actually a language, despite being a wonderful development platform. – Jason C Mar 27 '14 at 19:45
@JasonC You have some wonky ideas what “programming language” means – it’s definitely not the commonly used definition, by which Processing is without a doubt a programming language. Just because it runs on top of either Java or JavaScript doesn’t change that – in fact, that’s the hallmark of a DSEL. And Processing.js wasn’t done by “them”, it’s by somebody completely different (John Resig) and is unrelated to the original implementation. – Konrad Rudolph Mar 27 '14 at 21:46
@KonradRudolph I see. So given that, e.g., Proclipse exists, does this change your opinion on Processing being its own programming language in this context? Additionally, if I use, say, java.util.Map in a Processing sketch, is it no longer "Processing", since it breaks, for example, Processing.js? Processing is just a platform -- some language-specific APIs and an IDE -- and a "recommendation" (in the form of the set of documented functions available) to use a subset of the language that it actually is being compiled as. – Jason C Mar 27 '14 at 22:01
Another way of thinking about it: What defines the syntax used when writing a Processing program? Processing? Or the JLS (in Java mode) and ECMA-262 (JS mode)? The answer is very clearly the latter, so I'm not sure it is fair to call my statement "wonky". Note also that the Processing language reference itself frequently refers to Javadocs that describe its Java API as a definitive reference source for Java mode; it is Java. – Jason C Mar 27 '14 at 22:09
@JasonC “… it is Java.” – That’s true for every DSEL (and it’s not even true of processing, since not every Processing script is a valid, complete Java program). Read the article I linked. That doesn’t make it less of a programming language. – Konrad Rudolph Mar 27 '14 at 22:44

I think it would be clearer if the tag were "processing-language".

Note to language designers: don't name your language using a common word - at least not without changing a letter or two. I am especially surprised at Google for naming their "go" language. You would think that search experts would know better.

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Heh, the "Go" language doesn't appear on the first 3 pages of Google Search results for go (go lang/golang returns relevant results however..) – dbr May 21 '10 at 14:49
also note that the primary go author is :-) – Mark Harrison May 21 '10 at 19:09
Maybe that's why it was called Proce55ing originally? – SamB Nov 27 '10 at 4:06
I saw… and had no idea that "Processing" meant a language. We should really change that to [processing-language]. – John Saunders Dec 12 '12 at 1:34
@JohnSaunders Processing is not a language, and processing-language should definitely not exist. The OP who replied to your comment there simply did not understand what Processing was. – Jason C Mar 27 '14 at 16:49

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