Posts about py5 (old posts, page 1)

New py5 Release: 0.6.0.alpha.2

A big release with new features and important bug fixes!

What's new:

  • Context Managers. This context manager functionality is one of many great ideas found in that several members of the py5 community have been asking for. Ideas and feedback like this contribute much to py5, so please keep them coming! And many thanks to the team for coming up with this idea.

  • py5bot now supports the SVG and PDF renderers

  • Update to the latest Processing 4.0 beta 2 jars

  • The save() and save_frame() methods can now save to a io.BytesIO object

  • Version number now conforms to proper semantic versioning standards

Bug Fixes:

  • #40

  • #44

  • Other small bugs I found and fixed along the way

What's Ahead:

  • Rework noise functionality. See #38 for more information. The new version's noise functionality may not be backwards compatible.

  • There are other items on my todo list but I want to make reworking the noise functionality a higher priority. I'll do a new release once this is complete.

Help Test py5 Release 0.6.0-alpha.1

In an effort to improve the py5 release process, I am making the next release available on github for testing before I package and deploy it to PyPI.

Install py5 0.6.0-alpha.1

Here's the command you'll need to install py5 from github:

pip install git+

This needs to be done after the other py5 installation tasks (as explained in the documentation) are completed. The simplest way to go about this is to create a working py5 environment and then run the above command. Don't forget to install the py5 and py5bot kernels, and don't forget to check the version number:

>>> import py5
>>> py5.__version__

Since py5's github repositories are split between the py5generator and py5 repositories, there are a bunch of extra steps one must take to install the development version of py5. The only person who uses the development build is me. Moving forward I need to come up with a way to change this so that more people can provide helpful feedback before a release.

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Jupyter Book Documentation Now Live!

The new py5 documentation website is now live! Go to to have a look.

The documentation is built with Jupyter Book. One of the reasons why I am so enthusiastic about this is that Jupyter Book is so well designed for creating Python documentation. It's very easy use and the end result is a much higher quality than what I was using before.

Now I need to get to work and document all the great features in py5 that nobody knows about!

Jupyter Book Documentation

I'm enthusiastic about this prototype for py5's documentation website: It is built with Jupyter Book.

Once I got up to speed on Jupyter Book I was able to modify the Reference documentation to use the new system. That was probably the most tedious part. One challenge is that I am using restructuredtext for the documentation source content, so the reference documentation build process also outputs restructuredtext. That's fine because Jupyter Book supports that, but it is clear that markdown or Myst is easier to use. I will use Myst for new documentation files, not restructuredtext.

One of the great features of Jupyter Book is the ability to link the documentation to binder. Readers will be able to launch a notebook kernel right from the documentation. In addition, Jupyter Book supports Thebe, an amazing tool that I never imagined was even possible. Readers will also be able to execute py5 code through the documentation website itself, with the execution results provided by binder. This supports custom kernels like py5bot and embedded animations using the Sketch Portal. This connection with binder will be used extensively in the tutorials and howto sections.

New py5 Release: 0.5a2

Shortly after the 0.5a1 release I learned that the run_sketch utility did not work on Windows computers. It was an easy fix, and critical to support tabreturn aka Trisan Bunn's upcoming CC Fest presentation on Thonny and py5.

While doing additional testing I discovered that the run_sketch utility also did not work correctly on OSX. This was also critical, and unfortunately, not an easy fix. Frankly, it was a painful problem to solve. Nevertheless, I came up with a solution using pyobjc. Now run_sketch will work correctly on all platforms, and everyone who watches tabreturn's presentation on Sunday can give py5 and Thonny a try.

While exploring py5objc I discovered a new approach for running py5 on OSX that I believe I can use to address most the current limitations on OSX. I'll continue exploring this in future releases.

While doing all of this I also expanded py5's support for specifying colors using hexadecimal notation and web color notation. Now assignments to the pixels array can use both notations. In addition, py5 can support 3 character web color notations (e.g. "#822"). See #26 for more information.

What's Ahead:

  • Rework noise functionality

  • OSX feature parity

  • Write Tutorials and How-tos

  • Further develop the py5examples repo

  • Unit tests

New py5 Release: 0.5a1

The 0.5a0 release was a bad release. I botched the py5bot kernel code in a poorly executed merge, and then didn't do sufficient testing to detect the problem. This release fixes those problems.

I have updated my release process to make sure this doesn't happen again. Also, I will prioritize developing a unit test framework for py5.

I managed to sneak in one new feature to this release: Proper support for specifying colors using hexadecimal notation and web color notion. See #26.

Also, the sketch_portal() method will by default throttle the frame rate to 30 frames per second. Previously the default was for no throttling. This change will improve the experience of users who use this for the first time on mybinder, where a Sketch running at the default Sketch speed of 60 frames per second will look jumpy in the Sketch portal when no throttling is used.

What's Ahead:

  • Write Tutorials and How-tos

  • Further develop the py5examples repo

  • Unit tests, because clearly this project needs them

New py5 Release: 0.5a0

What's new:

  • A second Jupyter Notebook Kernel: py5bot. There's also a new IPython magic called %%py5bot that is available within the py5 kernel.

  • The size() method can be called from the setup() function intead of settings(). Before Sketch execution, py5 will identify code in setup() that belongs in settings() and will segment the code appropriately.

  • Improved error reporting for IPython magics, py5bot, and all static mode sketches

  • Sketch windows now appear in the taskbar or Dock with the py5 logo

Breaking changes:

  • args has been renamed to pargs to avoid a name conflict with the conventional use of the variable args

  • the use_thread default parameter in save() and save_frame() has been changed from False to True


  • Massive improvements for OSX Users. The OSX Sketch exiting issues have been solved. The other OSX issues are better articulated in the Special Notes for Mac Users.

  • Lots of little bug fixes

What's Ahead:

  • Write Tutorials and How-tos

  • Further develop the py5examples repo

New py5 Release: 0.4a2

What's new:

  • py5 on mybinder

  • Py5SketchPortal widget to view animations on mybinder

  • New println method for correctly printing to stdout and stderr from Sketch methods when using Jupyter lab

Breaking changes:

  • The IPython line magics such as %screenshot and %animatedgif are now ordinary functions in py5_tools. They never should have been line magics in the first place.


  • Some improvements for OSX Users. The OSX issues are now reduced from critical problems to annoyances

  • Lots of little bug fixes

What's Ahead:

  • Coding trick to allow users to skip a settings() method, like what can be done in the Processing IDE

  • Write Tutorials and How-tos

  • Expand example code in the py5examples repo

New py5 Release: 0.4a1


What's new:

  • New py5 logo

  • Drawing helper tools such as render and render_sequence have a new use_py5graphics parameter


  • Complete, accurate, and truthful docstrings for every field and method in every py5 class

  • Correctly support print statements in Sketch methods when using Jupyter lab

  • Code improvements in the service of producing better documentation

  • Some improvements for OSX Users

  • Lots of little bug fixes

What's Ahead:

  • Continue to address platform specific issues

  • Write Tutorials and How-tos

  • Example Code