New OpenProcessing, on the invisible side

I have been working for couple of weeks on updating the back-end and finally I was able to make the code push last Sunday. On the front-end, you will not notice much differences, however on the back-end, OpenProcessing has a whole new structure! (You should see the code, it is a beauty!)

I basically re-wrote the back-end (all of it!) using CodeIgniter framework. Because OpenProcessing started as a school project and grew with gradual updates, almost everything was manually coded and I wasn’t using any frameworks. I didn’t know much about frameworks at that time anyways. I ended up learning a lot about PHP, I found myself creating my own ‘framework’ without even being aware of ‘framework’ concept. More of MVC I mean. But of course, it was buggy and it was pretty messy. Both the database and code included snippets from my OpenVisuals.org project (that involved dataset support for data visualization). With this CodeIgniter update, I also removed all the unrelated stuff, pages, tables, codes, etc.

Well, the part that matters to you:

  • Now OpenProcessing should feel way faster to browse. This comes with revised code, SQL statements and better caching of images, files, etc.. And it is more secure now.  Aaaand, wait for it…. A new kick-ass server! (thanks to MediaTemple).
  • As you might have noticed, OpenProcessing has a new URL structure:
    • sketches have a URL format of: www.openprocessing.org/sketch/[sketchID]/
      (before: www.openprocessing.org/visuals/?visualID=[visualID]
    • user portfolios have a URL format of: www.openprocessing.org/user/[userID]/
      (before: www.openprocessing.org/portal/?userID=[userID]
    • collections have a URL format of: www.openprocessing.org/collection/[collectionID]/
      (before: www.openprocessing.org/collections/?collectionID=[collectionID]
    • classrooms have a URL format of: www.openprocessing.org/classroom/[classroomID]/
      (before: www.openprocessing.org/classrooms/?classroomID=[classroomID]
    • any sketch, user, collection, classroom related functions are accessible by adding the function after the URL above. Although they are not documented at the moment, I will be working on an API which will document all these and will also allow JSON/XML based access to these information and functionality.
      (eg. for rss feed of a user: www.openprocessing.org/user/1/rss. Before, they were all over the place.)
    • If you had links on your website to the things mentioned above, you very likely do not have to make a change, since the old format URLs will be forwarded to their new version. But you might want to check, you know, just in case.

Having said that, because this was a very major update, there might be things that are broken and missed my eye. Please let me know if you see any bugs or any issues with the website via commenting on this blog, or shooting an email to  or using the forum.

Next on the line is: Visual update on Portfolio pages => to make them more presentable.


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