If you build it, they will build more

Next week our students' first project release is due (0.1).  In the past few days I've had quite a few conversations with students working on their Processing.js work, and a lot of it is coming along nicely (Andor, for example, has been blogging and coding up a storm).  Al will be coming to Toronto in a couple weeks to meet with the students, and for the first set of code reviews and landings of new features.  There's a lot of energy.  But I want to keep that energy level high, so I thought I'd share the following thoughts.

When you work on a technology from underneath, that is, when you work on implementation, it can be hard to imagine how writing silly little functions will have any great effect.  The creation of a tool feels very different from the creation done using the tool.  So I was interested to see that Gen has posted about a cool use of html5 and Processing.js to explore smooth wave forms.  I wanted to draw my students' attention to it, because it shows how unlocking the potential of a technology makes it possible for others to come along and build interesting things using it:

In the end, I came up with both something that “floats naturally” and also a serendipitous encounter with the simplicity of working with only HTML and JavaScript, which has been very rewarding.
The simplicity of the encounter is the goal of a well designed tool.  To my students I say this: keep doing what you're doing because there are many people waiting to work with all the stuff you're building, waiting to have similar rewarding, serendipitous encounters with the simplicity of these technologies.

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