Top critical review
In retrospect, a bad purchase
on 2 March 2016
I don't recommend this book, for the following reasons:
1) As another reviewer mentioned, Processing is demonstrated via a series of examples, but it tends to be very difficult to extract just those bits you need from the examples to the application you have in mind. You end up learning what Processing can do in the hands of someone who already knows how to use it, rather than how to do what you want to do with Processing. As a result, as long as you want to make some minor variation of the random box-drawing thing or one of the examples in the book, you encounter difficulty. This is partly because Processing as a 'language' is a series of high-level functions that you either know or you don't.
2) You may buy this book because it's easier to read a paperback A5-sized book than navigating a website. However, you will need to use the Processing website anyway for further examples and the reference manual, because the book isn't enough.
3) Most importantly, the up-to-date version of the book is online at the Processing website. Some examples in this 2010 edition don't work with the current version of Processing. Particularly, the 3D examples using OpenGL. They return a series of errors but nothing in the debugger. In other words the interpreter doesn't tell you that it doesn't understand the program, but rather fails to run it. This is partly the fault of Processing rather than the book, but in any case you will always need an up-to-date version of Processing, and that will be matched by an updated 'Getting Started' book, which is on the website.
There is no doubt that Processing could, potentially, yield impressive results in the right hands. This set of examples, collated into a book, is an attempt to demonstrate that. However, this book alone, even if it never went out of date, would never be enough to get you 'started' with Processing. Processor's spiritual predecessors were less eclectic.