The Packets project
website no longer maintained
This website is no longer maintained. All information on Packet Forth has moved to http://zwizwa.be/darcs/packetforth/www. The catkit project has been discontinued.
What is Packets
The aim of this project is to provide tools, guidelines and food for thought in the fields of real-time media processing. To this end we are creating open and integrated software, hardware and documentation.
These evolving tools are tuned for audiovisual work. I.e. performances, installations, data visualisation, and general prototyping. Packets attempts to provide an artistic approach to software development and possibly a new way of defining your own creative tools and eventually your own language. The main idea behind packets is in the name: digital art = throwing around data packets.
Our approach is extreme modularity: combining small, simple pieces of hardware and software to create more complex, emerging objects.
The core software system of Packets is Packet Forth (PF), a scripting language for real-time media object manipulation. It provides an intuitive programming environment which interfaces to the GNU/Linux operating system and real-time systems such as Pd. It is an interactive system: your art is the result of a conversation with the machine. The language itself is very simple. It takes about a day to understand its basic features: how the syntax works, how new functionality can be created, etc.
Because nothing is static in PF, you can (re)define and (re)combine every element to fit your purpose. Right now PF contains enough modules to get you started on creating your own rules.
CATkit is an open hardware project designed for the Purrr language. The kit consists of a printed circuit board plus components, to be used as a standalone interactive Forth computer. This board serves as a teaching platform for physical computing workshops, and as a tool for artists looking for a simple system to create stand alone objects with a couple of knobs and switches or other sensors.