Think about Shoebot as your own personal drawing robot: It takes a Python script as input, which describes a drawing process, and outputs an image (SVG, PDF, PostScript, or PNG). It has a simple text editor GUI, and scripts can describe their own GUIs for controlling variables interactively. Being pure Python, it can also be used as a Python module, a plugin for Python-scriptable tools such as Inkscape, and run from the command line. It was directly inspired by DrawBot and Shoes. Thus, “Shoebot.”
DrawBot is a Mac OS X application developed by Just van Rossum of LettError in the Netherlands, and its derivative Nodebox, developed by Frederik Bleser and Tom de Smedt at St. Lucas University in Belgium. In turn it also draws inspiration from Processing and Logo.
Shoes is a similar and awesome project using the Ruby language instead of Python, and its principles are outlined in The Little Coder’s Predicament, a fun read.
How does Shoebot work?
Comparing to graphics coding alternatives like Drawbot, Nodebox and Processing, Shoebot is light and flexible because it does not depend on an interface engine for rendering, although it has one too.
It has a simple command-line interface which makes it potentially suitable for computationally intensive uses such as webserver image generation. It also has the ability to be called from external Python scripts without effort.