Visual Programming Languages in the Browser: Scratch and Snap

May 18, 2012 at 6:59 am 3 comments

The all-browser-based Scratch 2.0 prototype was just released for testing (see below).  I’ve been playing with the “Snap!” prototype (successor to BYOB Scratch), which is also all-browser-based.  This is a great trend for high school CS teachers, who often can’t install software on their computers.

Welcome to the Scratch 2.0 prototype! We hope you’ll explore and experiment. Check out the Featured Projects and Featured Galleries. Click Help to learn more.

We’re still in the process of adding and revising features. Unfortunately, you can’t login yet, so you won’t be able to save or remix projects or write comments. These features and more will be available when we officially release Scratch 2.0 later this year.

via Scratch – Imagine, Program, Share.

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tony  |  May 18, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    Nice! It looks like Snap 4 may mostly/entirely pure HTML5; it “sorta” works on my iPad and Kindle Fire, and the same would likely be true on my iPhone if the UI weren’t so small. If they get that working they’ll really have something (unfortunately MIT’s new Scratch requires Flash, which doesn’t run on iOS and isn’t going to be supported on the next-gen Android devices, either).

    The problems I noted in a short test were: 1) pinch-zoom doesn’t work (hence the problems on the iPhone — parts of the UI could benefit from zooming on full tablets, too) 2) clicking on a text-entry field doesn’t bring up the on-screen keyboard. Both of these should be pretty easy to add. The text zoom just requires a setting in the head metadata. I’m not sure why the on-screen keyboard isn’t coming up, since that normally happens by default. Probably they’re intercepting keystrokes for their own purposes.

    • 2. Jens Mönig  |  May 23, 2012 at 9:49 am

      Thanks for the quick test and the overall favorable review of our Snap alpha version!

      You’re right in noting that Snap 4 is entirely made in HTML5/JavaScript, and therefore ultimately should work in any modern web browser. At the moment we’re only targetting desktop browsers, but personally I’d love Snap to be usable on tablets such the iPad right from the beginning. The technical side, though, isn’t quite as simple as “HTML5” might suggest, because Snap is a “lively”, multi-threaded, interactive programming environment, which actually runs inside a single Canvas element (including all text rendering).

      Over the past days I’ve tried to address the two issues you found (missing pinch-zoom and virtual keyboard) when trying Snap on your iPad. I’m curious if these developments now make Snap better usable on your iOS devices.

  • 3. chaikens  |  May 19, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    Really cool! Can’t wait to finish trying to implement binary search on it! Good to see array/lists are in it.


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