Lily – open source, browser-based, visual programming environment written in JavaScript


Max/MSP by Cycling ’74 is one of the most well known graphical/visual programming environments for music, audio, and multimedia.

Max/MSP provides an easy way to turn your ideas into applications. Instead of programming everything from scratch, you can use a visual toolkit of objects, and connect them together with patch cords.

Likewise, Lily enables users to build programs graphically by connecting functional modules to fetch and direct the flow of data, play sound or video, add interactivity or display results.

Lily is written in JavaScript. It can run in a browser as Firefox add-on, standalone using XULrunner, and it can even be embedded in a web page.

Lily BeatboxRudimentary beatbox created in Lily

There are already over 150 modules available for Lily, including web services modules for API’s like Flickr and Wikipedia, UI modules that wrap widgets from YUI and Google Maps, and more. Even database connectivity is possible.
These modules are also written in JavaScript, which means you can also write your own modules.

Currently Lily is in private development, but a public beta should be out soon. You can already check some cool demos here.

  • Peter Kirn and Marco Raaphorst (Dutch weblog) are also quite excited about this development.