Software-based general-purpose development languages such as SUSIE, AUTOVIEW, VCS, and QC VISION have proven to be very valuable in the interactive development of image processing and feature extraction algorithms for industrial inspection. These systems are extremely versatile, but since they are typically implemented using a single microprocessor, they are very slow on some often-used operations. When such a system is expanded to include recursion and high-level symbolic extraction and manipulation functions, as required by the ProVision development environment, the slow operation becomes intolerable. This paper describes a vision system which uses only commercially-available real-time image processing boards and which executes most of the AUTOVIEW operations in one frame time and most of the remaining operations in two or three frame times. Also included are other important operations which are often available only on special-purpose systems. Examples: connected component analysis, convolution with large arbitrarily-specified kernels, and binary morphology with large arbitrarily-specified structuring elements. These more complex operations typically execute in about 1/3 to 1/2 second. The speedups provided by this vision system make possible a very fast implementation of the ProVision environment, allowing the interactive development of complex high-level algorithms with the convenience formerly available only on development systems for low-level applications.