Scratch Blocks For Beginners In Developer Preview
Written by Lucy Black   
Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Scratch Blocks has been released as an open-source developer preview ahead of Google I/O which starts today. It is a collaboration between Google and MIT Media Lab and builds on Google's Blockly technology and the Scratch Team’s expertise in designing creative interfaces for young learners. 

Both Blockly and Scratch are popular programming environments for teaching kids to code so a project that puts them together seems something worth getting involved with. So far the main contributor to Scratch Blocks appears to have been Neil Fraser, creator of Blockly.




According to the blog post, Scratch and Google Introduce Scratch Blocks:

Scratch Blocks represents the first step in a broader effort, focused on developing new software toolkits that enable developers to create consistent, high-quality programming experiences for kids everywhere.

Scratch Blocks is a fork of Google's Blockly project that provides a design specification and codebase for building creative computing interfaces. Together with the Scratch Virtual Machine (VM) this codebase allows for the rapid design and development of visual programming interfaces.

It brings together two different programming "grammars". Whereas the standard Scratch grammar uses blocks that snap together vertically, much like LEGO bricks, ScratchJr, intended for younger children, has blocks that are labelled with icons rather than words, and snap together horizontally rather than vertically. The Scratch team found that the horizontal grammar is not only friendlier for beginning programmers but also better suited for devices with small screens.




This first preview release of Scratch Blocks includes code for the horizontal grammar. The vertical grammar will be added to the project in the coming months.



Last Updated ( Wednesday, 18 May 2016 )