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