I enjoy making things a lot. I don’t get enough time to do it though. When I do make stuff it takes all sorts of different forms, like electronics, fixing stuff (with Sugru etc), using conductive ink, conductive textiles, and the list goes on.
The more I use this little machine the more I enjoy it, and the more I think that it has some truly amazing possibilities to it. In the session I had with it tonight I managed to get what sounded like a whole track from it. It was amazing. I’m in the process of putting the samples up now. Actually, I’ve just finished.
I’ll post them here too just in case, but they’re on my SoundCloud pages if you want them.
There’s loads of new things to explore in the latest version. Here’s what’s new:
Pythonista is now compatible with all iOS screen sizes — from iPhone 4 to iPad Pro, and everything in-between.
For larger projects, you can now use multiple editor tabs to switch between related files more quickly.
The Pythonista app extension allows you to run Python scripts within other apps, using the standard iOS share sheet.
New and refined color themes are available in the settings; selecting a different theme now changes the entire app’s UI instead of just syntax highlighting.
Additional templates are available in the improved “new file” menu. You can also import photos from your camera roll as image files there.
The console’s interactive prompt is now syntax-highlighted, and provides better support for Bluetooth keyboards (you can use the up/down keys to navigate the command history).
You can now read the (pure Python) source code of the included standard library (and third-party modules) directly in the app. Simply enable the “Show Standard Library” setting if you’re interested in looking “under the hood”.
The UI editor contains a much improved inspector panel, undo/redo support, the possibility to set custom attributes, and a lot of other refinements.
The new traceback navigator allows you to get a lot more information about errors in your programs. When an exception occurs, a brief summary is shown at the top of the screen, and the line where the exception occurred is highlighted in the editor. By tapping on the exception summary, you can navigate the entire traceback, even if the source of the exception is in a different file. You can also tap the `<…` marker in the editor to inspect variable values in the selected stack frame.
The editor actions (“wrench”) menu has been improved significantly. You can now assign custom icons and colors to your script shortcuts. It’s also possible to invoke the standard iOS share sheet from the actions menu. If you have an iPhone 6s or 6s Plus (with 3D Touch), you can launch shortcuts directly from the homescreen by pressing the Pythonista icon.
The improved asset picker (`[+]` button) contains more free image and sound effect collections that can be used with the `scene`, `ui`, and `sound` modules. The UI for opening the asset picker is also consistent between iPad and iPhone now.
When the cursor is inside a color string (e.g. ‘#ff0000’ or ‘red’) or built-in image name, a preview overlay is shown automatically. You can also tap the preview overlay to select a different color or image.
The new *Highlight All* option in the copy/paste menu allows you to quickly find all occurrences of a word (e.g. variable name), without typing anything in the search bar.
You can adjust the indentation of a selected block of code more easily with the new `⇥ Indent` menu items (in the copy/paste menu).
iPad only: The extended keyboard has a more compact layout by default. If you prefer a larger keyboard with an additional number row, you can enable this in the settings.
The completely revamped `scene` module gives you a lot more possibilities for building 2D games and animations in Pythonista. You can even use custom OpenGL fragment shaders. Lots of new sample code and a tutorial for building a simple game are available in the included *Examples* folder.
So I probably need to revisit some of my old projects and maybe even finish them!
I think this could be amazing. I do think that littleBits should be doing this themselves. They should also make it a part of their iOS app. Anyway, if you’re interested in it, take a look at the GitHub page and check the roadmap.
One of the technologies we had on show at the SoundLab Play Space was Bare Conductive’s Conductive Ink and TouchBoard. We used these to connect to Ableton Live and control a variety of parameters in a set. It took quite a lot of tinkering around to get the pads and the board to work as we wanted, and a lot of time to calibrate the pads to get them sensing and sending MIDI CCs.
Hopefully I’ll be able to release to arduino code for the set we used soon. Hopefully I’ll be able to make some videos too to show how to get it done.
I think that that the TouchBoard is a really cheap and simple way to create effective gestural control via MIDI.
After experimenting with my previous cards I decided to try a larger and denser pad for use as a proximity sensor.
There was a very good little tutorial on the Bare Conductive site so I used that. As you can see above it very sensibly suggests the use of masking tape to make these pads. I followed the instructions and made 4 pads in the end.
Whilst the tape removal wasn’t an entire success it was ok and didn’t stop the pads from working which was good.
I’m planning to post a much larger post around how to get these pads to work for music and how best to get the code up and running too. It might take a little while to get that going though, so hopefully it’ll be in a week or two.