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Digital Poetry Program: LINEmaker v0.2

August 25, 2015
LINEmaker (2015): The title image for the LINEmaker program, created in LINEmaker.

“LINEmaker” (2015): The title image for the LINEmaker program, created in LINEmaker.

After a long break, I have finally returned to learning the Processing generative/interactive arts programming language. I wrote my first working program, LINEmaker v 0.1, almost two years ago, and finally I have it in a finished form. Version 0.2 is currently available in source code (if you want to run it in Processing 2.2.1 or Processing 3 beta) as well as in Java applications for Windows and Linux systems. You may download these from my Github page.

LINEmaker is meant to be a tool for creating a very specific kind of visual poem (I call them “new lines”) which I began making in the OpenOffice and LibreOffice word processors. Each poem is a single line of text with the font spacing and scale settings set so that the characters are compressed on top of each other and can make lines and blocks (as well as other configurations).

The LINEmaker program is more flexible than LibreOffice, as the user can use the mouse to set the character spacing (with horizontal movement) and the font transparency (with vertical movement). A simple title screen has been added in version 0.2, as well as an editable text field in the main application screen.

Below is an animated gif of a simple new line poem which shows 31 repetitions “hl” as the mouse stretches them across the screen. As I moved the mouse from left to right, the space between each character grew to produce this accordion effect. Click on it to view it in more clearly at its full size.

Caption: “h to H” (2015): An animated gif of a simple new line consisting only of the letters “h” and “l.” The animation shows the poem accordion outward as the mouse moves from left to right.


I hope to make more interactive digital poetry programs as my skills develop. There are some exciting libraries like Rita, Wordnet and NextText that I plan to start working with. In the meantime, download and enjoy the program.

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