[visionegg] Re: pygame v. visionegg

  • From: Mark Halko <mhalko@xxxxxx>
  • To: visionegg@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 30 May 2007 15:00:11 -0400

On May 29, 2007, at 5:07 PM, John Christie wrote:

So, for those of you who are serious psychopysicists the subject of this makes no sense. I mean, Vision Egg is massively more flexible for psychophysics.

However, for just doing basic cognitive tasks its often a little simpler (and better documented) to whip something up in pygame.

Certainly that is something you could do. You could also use a number of other libraries and programs tuned for "basic cognitive tasks." Look at Psyscope or Presentation. Visionegg is primarily a library "on top of" pygame/SDL and OpenGL. Visionegg is designed for psychophysical and ephys presentations, and as such, has a number of features that you'd end up implementing yourself in pygame. These features, such as a frame timer and classes for most possible forms of visual stimulation (pictures, dots, gratings, movies...) are already implemented for you. The controller and presentation classes are invaluable for quickly getting dynamic stimuli to work - for example, managing keypress events, mouse events and dynamic stimuli together is a few lines of code. If that doesn't convince you, look at the Pyro demos, and see that you can quickly create a demo and GUI either locally on the same machine, or remotely on another, with no change in code.

The primary advantage (for me) is that you can quickly go from something basic, to something more complex fairly fast. Andrew has done a tremendous amount of work to allow you to quickly generate your own novel stimuli without having to worry about the more mundane aspects of presenting stimuli.

If you're just starting out, you may think all you need to do is simply write code X to do function Y. In my experience, especially with visual stimuli, you almost always will want to later do function Y' which is just slightly different enough to be a pain in the rear in a straight "lower level" library.

Either way, you can make your own decision. Asking a question such as "library A looks easier than library B, shouldn't I use that?" on the mailing list for library B will likely result in answers like "use library B."


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