Beyond Editing: Extended Interaction with Textual Code Fragments

Roberts, Charles and Wright, Matthew and Kuchera-Morin, JoAnn

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

We describe research extending the interactive affordances of textual code fragments in creative coding environments. In particular we examine the potential of source code both to display the state of running processes and also to alter state using means other than traditional text editing. In contrast to previous research that has focused on the inclusion of additional interactive widgets inside or alongside text editors, our research adds a parsing stage to the runtime evaluation of code fragments and imparts additional interactive capabilities on the source code itself. After implementing various techniques in the creative coding environment Gibber, we evaluate our research through a survey on the various methods of visual feedback provided by our research. In addition to results quantifying preferences for certain techniques over others, we found near unanimous support among survey respondents for including similar techniques in other live coding environments.