A portable graphics library for introductory CS: Cross-platform MediaComp!

August 21, 2013 at 1:04 am 2 comments

I just bumped into this paper looking for something else — how cool!  Eric Roberts and Keith Schwarz have created a cross-platform layer on top of a Java server process, so that their portable graphics library (which includes facilities for doing pixel-level manipulations, as we do in MediaComp) can be accessed from anything!  I often get asked “How can I do MediaComp in C++?”  Here’s a way!

For several decades, instructors who focus on introductory computer science courses have recognized the value of graphical examples. Supporting a graphics library that is appropriate for beginning students has become more difficult over time. This paper describes a new approach to building a graphics library that allows for multiple source languages and a wide range of target architectures and platforms. The key to this approach is using an interprocess pipe to communicate between a platform independent client library and a Java based process to perform the graphical operations specific to each platform.

via A portable graphics library for introductory CS.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. joshg  |  August 21, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Nice. For C++ in particular, though, there’s also this:


    (Made for art, compiles cross-platform, not sure how effectively it fits your teaching model though.)

  • 2. kenbauer  |  August 21, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Thanks so much Mark, I’ve been giving a CS1 course using C++ after many years teaching with other languages and this should make for interesting material for my classes.


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