The Tiny And Accomplished Lew

March 4th 23:30
by why

Fran├žois Lamotte took some time to e-mail in about his friend 4P8. He thought we’d like this.

4P8: In the same time, the personal computing paradigm matured. The original rogue program that assumed a total control over what was perceived as a hobbyist toy have now to behave nicely. It has to comply with access rights, to accept and process requests from the graphical environment, to follow a rigorous syntactic and conceptual model and so on.

So, here we’ve got another tricky, little graphical gear to spin! LEW is an art tool which embeds the Lua language and it’s inspired by (you guessed it) NodeBox and Processing. And BASIC. The gallery is incredibly impressive. And equally impressive is the brevity and usefulness of its manual.

You know, things continue to bode well for a real return to the days of bloat-free, starter programming environments. Small and for the layfolk. In fact, LEW makes me feel like Shoes is bloated: LEW is a single binary, around 400k. (Windows only, for now.)

The image at right is a clone of a flight404 demo called “Solar”. Roughly 250 lines of Lua code.

Continuing the quote from earlier:

Is this an advocacy to return to BASIC ? No: the old BASIC is clearly too primitive to handle problems we’re now used to deal with, and new BASIC implementations have just grow in complexity the same way other languages did.

The conclusion is a need to an equivalent of what BASIC was in old personal computer industry: a simple, exploratory language.



said on March 5th 04:26

Shame its Windows only, really wish there was a Processing or Nodebox equiverlent in Ruby


said on March 5th 10:57

James, have you played with ruby-processing?


said on March 5th 13:05

Actually sounds like an interesting way to learn some Lua.


said on March 6th 04:23

_Why a great thank you for LEW.

@James LEW is just starting, 2 month old and it’s build to run on any environnement. 4P8 has just started on the windows environment. On the first stable release, we’ll seek anyone interested to play with it on other plateform.

Grummmphy has already played with LEW in Linux with wine.


said on March 15th 22:48

The conclusion is a need to an equivalent of what BASIC was in old personal computer industry: a simple, exploratory language.

What’s wrong with Logo?


said on March 22nd 05:44

Impressive work ! And as I am under windows, I think I am about to learn a bit of Lua :-)
It may be a bit early, but I am (also) at this time developping a Ruby library to generate vector graphics ala Nodebox.
If this interests someone, it can be checked at You can also check some “in progress” gallery at ,to get some idea about what can be done with it.

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