Help with OF/Sublime setup for non-programmers?

I’m just starting out with OF coming from a background in Processing. I’m NOT a programmer but a designer who likes to dabble in generative graphics and creative coding.

My weapon of choice for a long time has been Sublime Text (the Processing IDE became too limited, Xcode/Eclipse felt to feature-rich for my skill level) and I’d very much like to keep using it for my endeavours in OF. I’ve read through several posts (on this forum and out in the web) describing how to set up OF with Sublime but have gotten my brain tangled up in build systems, make in terminal, setting up clang (which seemingly is discontinued?), not understanding the error messages, etc. I kinda understand the elements that are involved, but obviously still lack some knowledge and am now completely stumped. But I feel that with just that one non-programmer-friendly instructions I’d manage to get things up and running. (I’ve tried asking on stackoverflow, but the answer has been an elitist “if you don’t know these things, it’s obviously not for you”.)

Thanks for anyone willing to let us newbies see the light!

(I’m using Sublime Text 3 on Yosemite 10.10.1)

Have you tried ofSketch ( It might be a good option for that in-between space. The editor will continue to get better. If it doesn’t turn out to be a good fit for you, I’d be very curious to know what features would help it move into a better “middle” space as that’s the space we’re trying to fit into.

Well, sublime is a text editor, so I believe your trouble is openFrameworks build and link itself.

Have you successfully build openFrameworks? If so, you could run the projectGenerator to create an empty project and then use sublime text with the generated files. And then compile on a side terminal or adding a build system on sublime (I have no experience on that, but should be simple to get a basic make and run or similar)

If you haven’t been able to build openFrameworks, then we address this issue separately.

I didn’t know yet about ofSketch, thanks for the heads up! I’ll definitely check if it’s a real alternative to Sublime. But from the first quick glances it feels like something I could see myself using.

And that’s the exact moment I start to have a blank stare and why I stressed above that I haven’t yet got enough experience as a programmer. All posts on this topic kinda expect that “compiling in a side terminal” or “adding a build system” is common knowledge and need no further explanation. And while I superficially understand what these things are about, I lack the knowledge to just go and do these things. That’s where I was hoping that someone would break down these steps into non-programmer parlance.

For example, I managed to set up OF with Xcode and have played around with the provided examples. But I couldn’t tell you, if this constitutes as “successfully building openFrameworks”.

If you can run any example it means that you compiled openframeworks sucessfully.

If you follow the posts in the forum to make oF working with sublime, what its exactly the first problem that you had. Usually its better to ask things concrete.

Im not a real programmer i learn basically on this forum and with help from friends.

Can i ask why you want to begin on this with sublime and not using for example xcode.

You’re right, I should have posted the error messages for others to better understand the issues I’m having. I actually did it here and have solved at least one of the issues but have not bumped into a new one.

Well, the answer to this question is rather quirky and kinda esoteric… But basically I’ve always been very specific about the tools I use, be it digital or analog. For example, I have a preferred writing pen and a preferred sketchbook and while I absolutely can use other pens and sketchbooks I only feel absolutely comfortable when using the ones I have picked as my favourites. Same with code editors. After reaching the limits of the Processing IDE I did a quick sweep of all the more advanced options and Sublime was the one that appealed most to me. It’s fast, flexible and just inherently elegant. Also it has simple and clear aesthetics which always is a plus for me. (I’m a rather visually driven person…). Sure, setting up Sublime to run Processing was a hassle, but one I felt was worth it. So now that I’m trying to get into OF I very much would like to keep using my preferred coding environment. Yeah, I have gotten code to run with Xcode but the environtment feels “off” to me. Too techy, too feature-rich for my needs. Is this approach ideal? No. Could I spare myself a lot of hassle by sticking to Xcode? Yes. Is my approach kinda inefficient? Most definitely. Will a lot of people think I’m illogical? Probably. But that’s just the way I like my tools set up. And as long as I haven’t come to a “it’s not possible your way”-conclusion, I’ll keep going at it.

Sorry for the wall of text. I’ve sort of surprised myself with above realisation as well. :slight_smile:

1 Like