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p5 Editor widget for Generative Art inside Hashnode posts

p5 Editor widget for Generative Art inside Hashnode posts

Foreshadow.

Jorge Romero's photo
Jorge Romero
·Mar 16, 2022·

3 min read

One of the first languages I learned was Processing.

I really like The Nature of Code by Daniel Shiffman. It blends really nicely with some of the theoretical ideas I saw in school about complex systems. If you are interested in generative art, you just cannot miss this book! He also has an awesome YouTube channel: The Coding Train

I want to make generative art

I have some plans for my blog that involve it! Do expect them!

Now. Here's the interesting thing. There is also a JavaScript library based on processing: p5.js

And I know you can embed HTML in Hashnode's markdown. Particularly, you can embed iframes if you use hashnode's widget feature... I bet you are starting to see where I'm going with this!

While you can embed a p5 sketch in a web page no problem. If I am gonna go all the way with what I have in mind, I'll need something a little bit more sophisticated.

So I got an idea.

Trying to embed a P5.js editor in my blog posts

Yes. I know. I can just use codepen...

But I want this thing... It will look sexy as heck!

I found a tool called p5.js-widget that renders a simple p5 editor on a webpage.

According to the documentation, you just add the widget into an HTML document:

<script src="//toolness.github.io/p5.js-widget/p5-widget.js"></script>

And it will automatically convert p5.js code inside script tags with type text/p5 into a simple p5 editor for that script.

<script type="text/p5">
  // This is a p5 script
  function setup() {
    createCanvas(100, 100);
  }

  function draw() {
    background(255, 0, 200);
  }
</script>

Let's try to set it up with hashnode's widget feature!

Create a new widget

Go to your hashnode's blog dashboard. Create a new widget and give it a name. I'll name mine "p5widget".

B5C16530-139D-482D-A7F3-459C797F459A.jpeg

Add the widget's code. Note that we will have to sandwich out script tags on between pre tags.

<pre>
  <script src="//toolness.github.io/p5.js-widget/p5-widget.js"></script>
  <script type="text/p5" data-height="400" data-preview-width="400">
    function setup() {
      createCanvas(100, 100);
    }

    function draw() {
      background(255, 0, 200);
    }
  </script>
</pre>

Note that I set up the data-height and data-preview-width attributes to adjust my preview window size.

Once all setup is done, using the widget is trivially simple.

Just add

%%[p5widget]

to your blog post's markdown.

Check it out!

A word of caution

I found hashnode's widget feature to behave a little bit wonky. I had a bug where I can't create a new widget with the same name as one I previously deleted.

And I'm not completely sure this widget works on safari on Mac. But I know it works fine in Firefox on Ubuntu.

(Update) I just confirmed that it works in my Mac with safari. As well as on iPadOS.

Epilogue.

I'm kinda improvising this one (that is, more than the usual).

I tend to accumulate things. Get easily distracted, and fly off the tangent. So I have like 10 unfinished drafts that I am too inattentive to care about right now. I wrote a lot today. But it was a complete incoherent mess.

I just got a flu (at least I think its a flu). And some of my old nasty covid symptoms are flaring up. Most importantly, I just cannot focus right now.

And I'm having flashbacks of 2020 *plays sad tiny-violin music* XD

I'll take a few days off :D

...

On the other hand. This is my very first practical post with a small project that I set out to figure out from scratch completely on my own! Of course I saw several posts with tutorials, but I started with only some vague idea of what I wanted.

It was wild. Frustrating when things just plain didn't worked...

And stupidly fun!

...

See you tomorrow? (I might be able to write anyways, or have a guest post soon!)


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