The Extempore livecoding environment is emerging from a two year development, and according to its creator Andrew Sorensen, is now ready for wider use.
To whet your appetite, here’s an example of Extempore in use, in an interactive exhibit for children to explore general concepts from physics:
As is often the case, live coding was used during the design and development of the above work, but this is not necessarily evident in the end result, which is an interactive virtual world. This underlines the fact that Extempore is intended for general purpose, systems programming, albeit with strong focus on what Sorensen calls “cyberphysical programming” – interactive systems which incorporate human agents, a broad take on live coding with a take on temporal semantics and architecture which borders on the philosophical.
Extempore is very much a fully-fledged programming environment, which includes xtlang, a specially designed language with syntax and semantics similar to Lisp, but strictly typed (but with type inferencing). It developed out of the acclaimed Impromptu live coding environment, but Extempore is fully free/open source (Impromptu was closed source freeware), cross platform (MacOs X, Linux, Windows) and is designed for use in high performance realtime systems in general; not just audio/visual live coding performances.
The big news this week is that Ben Swift has started writing tutorials for Extempore, available here:
The audio infrastructure is still minimal, and Andrew and Ben would be happy to hear from folks wanting to get involved with this side of the project.