chippe01
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Scratch resources for adults?

Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:42 pm

I know by its very nature, Scratch was designed to get young children started in coding. I have taught myself some Visual BASIC, and used BASIC on commodore 64/128 many moons ago. With each update to Visual Studio, it seems things are more and more complicated. The last Visual Studio I purchased was 2012 as the newer versions are too complicated. even now when I go back and examine code that I wrote myself, it's harder for me to understand as I have not done any coding in about 7 years.

At almost 60 now, I find it difficult to learn, or retain things as i used to. I have bought several Python books, and will get started with this at some point, as the consensus seems that Python is easier to learn than most of the other languages. I've had a look at C and C++ some years back, and those are just too complicated.

For the time being, however, Scratch caught my eye when I bought a RPi4.

I will try my hand at this, as it seems very easy to learn, and very user friendly. I have purchased several coding books off Amazon, but they are all for Children. I can admit that I like the cartoonish appearance and bright colors of these books, but in the end, I'd like to find some books that are a little beyond the cartoons and colors. In my searching, I have not come across any books for adults.

I love words, and word games. I have created several with VB, and hope to create some using Scratch. This is just a way to occupy some of my time.

Are there any adult-oriented resources out there? And I mean adult as for people of a certain age, not adult content :)

makerbob
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Re: Scratch resources for adults?

Thu Feb 13, 2020 10:13 am

Hi Chippe,

Welcome to the forum :-)

I’m not sure I have any great answers for you but I think this an interesting conversation so I hope that other members will join in.

The short answer is that, no, I don’t know of any adult resources for Scratch beyond guides for teachers. These guides tend to be about lesson plans and project ideas rather than teaching Scratch to teachers.
As you rightly point out, Scratch is designed for 8 to 16 year olds so it’s not too surprising that there aren’t many/any adult focused resources.

My concern for you is that Scratch may not be capable enough for the games you want to create in the future. It’s great for simple animation and simple games but I definitely bump into limitations when trying to create even slightly more advanced stuff.
One good example is the size of the stage, 480 x 360 pixels is pretty small. For example, if you were creating a word search game then you wouldn’t get many words within that space.

Scratch is great for quick projects that take an hour or two to code but I find, that beyond that, you end up with a lot of code blocks which get messy and hard to work with.

Text based languages (E.g. Python etc) have ways to separate and reuse code as well as overcoming may other Scratch limitations.

Ok, so where next?

I’ve never used it but there is an extended implementation of Scratch (Read: spin-off) called Snap! It looks very similar so your Scratch learning won’t be wasted but it has added capabilities (e.g. larger stage, more functions) that make it suitable for a serious introduction to computer science for high school or college students.
Take a look at https://snap.berkeley.edu/index and they have a manual here: https://snap.berkeley.edu/snapsource/he ... Manual.pdf

If you wanted to investigate other visual based languages (rather than text based languages like Python, C++ etc) then try searching online for "online game builder”. These systems tend to lean towards creating arcade games but you may find something that suits your needs and they can be a lot of fun to test out.

If you’re looking at Python then be sure to check out the Code Club Python projects here: https://projects.raspberrypi.org/en/codeclub
Also Microsoft have a video course on Python here: https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/openso ... beginners/

Good luck and let us know how you get on.

MisterEd
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Re: Scratch resources for adults?

Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:49 pm

I understand where you are coming from. I started out with a TRS-80 Model I in 1979. I started with Basic on my TRS-80 and Atari computers. When I got a PC in 1995 I used QBasic and QuickBasic. As a Software Engineer I used Fortran, Visual Basic, and Visual C++. I found it harder and harder to keep up as programming language got more and more complex. Note from about 1997 to 2007 I also used several Linux distributions: Slackware, Redhat, and Fedora.

One time as a challenge I took several executable programs and tried to reverse engineer them using Visual Basic. I found I came close to the program part and the visual interface. Since Visual Basic and Visual C++ are based on the same core language it only took a few minutes to convert the Visual Basic programs to equivalent Visual C++ ones.

I have a Raspbian Pi 3B+ and a Raspbian Pi 4B 4GB.

I did some Scratch 2.0 programming on the Raspbian Pi 3B+ but found it too slow for Scratch 3.0. I found the same for the Raspbian Pi4B. Things changed for the Raspbian Pi 4B when the Scratch 3.0 Desktop version became available. Scratch 3.0 on the Raspbian Pi 4B is now my preferable way to do Scratch.

I am trying to learn Python 3 on the Raspbian Pi 4B. I use the Thonny IDE. (I also have the Thonny IDE for Python on my Windows PC.) I use the Genie IDE for C programming on the Raspbian Pi 4B.

Since I also enjoy electronics I bought the SunFounder Super Starter Learning Kit V3.0. This combined electronics with learning C and Python on the Raspberry Pi.

You might find this useful:

Alternatives to Scratch
https://en.scratch-wiki.info/wiki/Alter ... to_Scratch

How I Think about Scratch and Computer Science
https://medium.com/scratchteam-blog/how ... 376111a5df

chippe01
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:24 pm

Re: Scratch resources for adults?

Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:16 am

Thanks for the replies. The reason I would like to use Scratch is to regain my desire to code. I've been tinkering with it, and I do see there are serious limitations. As I said, I love words and word games, but there are no file operations in scratch to even read simple text files.

I did create several word games with Visual basic 10 and 12. I've used the official scrabble word dictionary text file with about 172,00 words. I've customized the list based on the games I created.

I was hoping to do something similar with scratch, but I see it's not possible.

I've been delving into the code I've written in VB10 and VB12 and now it all looks foreign to me. I wrote that code not too long ago. One of the reasons I liked Visual Basic is that creating the user interface was so simple. I still like the old Windows style interfaces. I dislike the new Modern look.

I'm also getting discouraged with the Raspberry Pi 4. It's main use was going too be to work on coding projects, but it falls short in so many areas. Opening the Scratch 3 offline software takes quite a while, close to a minute. Scratch 3 offline opens in a few seconds on my Windows 10 PC.

Thanks for the tip about Thonny IDE. I have several books on Python 3. I will get through the books I have on Scratch, just to see what's possible, and take a look at Snap. Then I will get to reading the python books. I think I had best stick to my PC, though. Using the Pi4 is a very frustrating experience. It's great for a learning tool and doing other projects for kids, but it is nowhere ready for prime time as a desktop replacement. especially since I only get about 20% of my internet speed on the Pi4, both wired and wireless. But that's another topic.

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bensimmo
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Re: Scratch resources for adults?

Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:46 am

Odd about your Pi4, mine runs things really nicely.

Keep the OS up to date too.


Go for Python3, it is quite simple at its basic usage, GUI are a different matter but you can look at using GUIZERO https://projects.raspberrypi.org/en/pro ... -with-guis as a simplified way of using s GUI. Warning, none of the mosules have the ease of VisualBasic for that sort of work. Something seriously lacking at the moment. At least from the Python3 things I have tried.

The Pi4 will come into its own when you expand your ideas and use buttons, screens and led displays, honestly have a go with that too. It is quite satisfying.

Look up http://www.bbcbasic.co.uk/bbcbasic.html and see what you can do with that too.

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Roken
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Re: Scratch resources for adults?

Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:37 am

For creating GUIs take a look at Qt Creator (for QT GUIs) and glade for GTK interfaces. Both will save python code.
Headless PI. OMG, someone cut it's head off. Oh, hang on. it didn't have one to start with.

timrowledge
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Re: Scratch resources for adults?

Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:45 pm

My advice would be to use NuScratch instead. That is, instead of clicking on ‘Scratch 3’ in the menu, go for plain ‘Scratch ‘ with no number.
NuScratch is the original version of Scratch (lots of messages in this forum a out all the fun I had in making it practical for the Pi) as written in Smalltalk. It runs very, very, well on pretty much any Pi but on a 3+ or a 4 it is amazingly fast. The downside- and it may be an important one to some people - is that MIT stopped serving up compatible project files a couple of years ago. That means you have to work from the ones we include on the Pi or create your own.
It still astonishes me that MIT were crazy enough to change to using something as slow, resource gulping and just plain nasty as they did. Weird.
Making Smalltalk on ARM since 1986; making your Scratch better since 2012

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bensimmo
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Re: Scratch resources for adults?

Sun Feb 16, 2020 7:02 am

Are hit the example Scratch comes with (iirc you find them in the open file) there is loads in there, datalogging, graphs etc.

Heater
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Re: Scratch resources for adults?

Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:50 am

chippe01,

It was always clear to me that Scratch was created for children. Nothing wrong with that but it's unlikely to be of any practical or interesting use. Others however have a different idea. For example Scratch was used in 2010 Scratch was used by Brian Harvey in the UC Berkeley CS10 Comp Sci undergraduate course: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... C409734737 The thing that amazed me about that course was that Scratch is used to teach everything that used to be taught in Scheme, all the way up to building a meta-circular evaluator!

As far as I can tell that course is now taught using Python.
At almost 60 now, I find it difficult to learn,...I've had a look at C and C++ some years back, and those are just too complicated.
It might not be you. C++ is a massively huge and complex language. I don't believe anyone understands it in it's entirety and how all the parts work together. C is a much small, simpler language that is understandable. But that language simplicity actually makes it harder to get things done.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

MisterEd
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Re: Scratch resources for adults?

Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:34 pm

Heater wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 10:50 am
chippe01,

It was always clear to me that Scratch was created for children. Nothing wrong with that but it's unlikely to be of any practical or interesting use. Others however have a different idea. For example Scratch was used in 2010 Scratch was used by Brian Harvey in the UC Berkeley CS10 Comp Sci undergraduate course: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... C409734737 The thing that amazed me about that course was that Scratch is used to teach everything that used to be taught in Scheme, all the way up to building a meta-circular evaluator!

As far as I can tell that course is now taught using Python.
I just checked the website for the course UC Berkeley CS10 (Spring 2020). The course does not use Scratch at all but uses Snap! Snap! used to be called called BYOB. Originally BYOB was based on Scratch 1.4. Now it is totally independent.

UC Berkeley CS10
https://cs10.org/sp20/
============= ===============================================================
I just check the 2010 YouTube video course. The course did not use Scratch either but the predecessor to Snap! called BYOB. See Lecture 5 to see this.

UC Berkeley CS10 Fall 2010 Lecture 5 : Programming Paradigms (1080p HD)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4rSsWG ... dex=6&t=0s
============================================================================
Since Snap! runs in a browser using HTML5 you can try it out on a Raspberry 4B with Buster using the Chromium browser. Go to the following website:

Snap!
https://snap.berkeley.edu/
============================================================================
References:

Snap! (programming language)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snap!_(pr ... _language)
Snap! (formerly BYOB) is a visual, drag-and-drop programming language. It is an extended reimplementation of Scratch (a project of the Lifelong Kindergarten Group at the MIT Media Lab) that allows you to Build Your Own Blocks. It also features first class[1] lists, first class procedures, and first class continuations[2]. These added capabilities make it suitable for a serious introduction to computer science for high school or college students.
About Snap!
https://snap.berkeley.edu/about
Snap! (Build Your Own Blocks) is an extended reimplementation of Scratch featuring first class procedures, first class lists, and first class sprites with inheritance. An earlier version, BYOB, was a modification of the Scratch 1.4 source code, but the current version is an entirely separate program, even though its user interface looks like Scratch 1.4 and it includes almost all of its primitive blocks. BYOB was originally developed by Scratcher Jens; as of BYOB 3.0, Scratcher bharvey joined as co-developer. (The code is still almost all written by Jens; bharvey has contributed to the design, libraries, and documentation, as well as online mentoring of Snap! users.)
Snap! (programming language)
https://en.scratch-wiki.info/wiki/Snap! ... _language)

PiGraham
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Re: Scratch resources for adults?

Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:21 pm

chippe01 wrote:
Wed Feb 12, 2020 7:42 pm

I love words, and word games. I have created several with VB, and hope to create some using Scratch. This is just a way to occupy some of my time.
There do seem to be some word games around.

https://scratch.mit.edu/search/projects?q=word%20games

It might be that there is more challenge in making Scratch do things with strings than in the game itself, still may be worth a look.

A version of Boggle:

https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/3220048/

Seems to run OK on Pi4B after saving to SD and opening in Scratch3 desktop.

The blocks look a bit crazy though.
Last edited by PiGraham on Tue Feb 18, 2020 3:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Heater
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Re: Scratch resources for adults?

Tue Feb 18, 2020 2:49 pm

MisterEd wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 1:34 pm
I just checked the website for the course UC Berkeley CS10 (Spring 2020). The course does not use Scratch at all but uses Snap! Snap! used to be called called BYOB. Originally BYOB was based on Scratch 1.4. Now it is totally independent.
I did not like to mention that BYOB fact.

Meh, sounds they are in all in the same family and derived from each other. I suspect that for many things it does not matter which you use.

No recommended for any serious use anyway.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

jalih
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Re: Scratch resources for adults?

Tue Feb 18, 2020 6:30 pm

bensimmo wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:46 am
Go for Python3, it is quite simple at its basic usage, GUI are a different matter but you can look at using GUIZERO https://projects.raspberrypi.org/en/pro ... -with-guis as a simplified way of using s GUI. Warning, none of the mosules have the ease of VisualBasic for that sort of work. Something seriously lacking at the moment. At least from the Python3 things I have tried.

Look up http://www.bbcbasic.co.uk/bbcbasic.html and see what you can do with that too.
I use 8th programming language for real work and for fun stuff... Programming in 8th can be quite addictive and fun!

Minesweeper in 8th

Work in progress worm game in 8th

Heater
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Re: Scratch resources for adults?

Tue Feb 18, 2020 7:27 pm

8th is great and all. But it's closed source system in a small ecosystem. Maybe such lock-in does not bother some people.
Memory in C++ is a leaky abstraction .

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karrika
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Re: Scratch resources for adults?

Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:21 pm

I don't know if Scratch can be used for visual novels. A guy from Brazil created a few extra elements for building Visual Novels to Sega EX. This was an add-on for Google Blockly.

Basically you would only need a few blocks like "say", "option".

Image

Image

PiGraham
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Re: Scratch resources for adults?

Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:18 pm

karrika wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:21 pm
I don't know if Scratch can be used for visual novels. A guy from Brazil created a few extra elements for building Visual Novels to Sega EX. This was an add-on for Google Blockly.
This?
https://github.com/haroldo-ok/BlocklyVN32X

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scruss
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Re: Scratch resources for adults?

Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:39 pm

There's also all of the Blocks / Microsoft MakeCode tools that run on physical computing boards like the micro:bit, BrainPad and Meowbit. Blocks has the huge advantage of producing JavaScript, so you can see and extend your Blocks code in a more flexible language.

There's also the lovely BlocksCAD 3D design tool that uses the Scratch/Blocks model.
‘Remember the Golden Rule of Selling: “Do not resort to violence.”’ — McGlashan.

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karrika
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Re: Scratch resources for adults?

Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:33 am

PiGraham wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 9:18 pm
karrika wrote:
Tue Feb 18, 2020 8:21 pm
I don't know if Scratch can be used for visual novels. A guy from Brazil created a few extra elements for building Visual Novels to Sega EX. This was an add-on for Google Blockly.
This?
https://github.com/haroldo-ok/BlocklyVN32X
Yep. Exactly. I got carried away by the simplicity of graphical programming and wrote a parody about Star Trek kind of movies. It has jokes from Dr Who as well. As a Christmas present I released the binary for free and also burned the story on a cart and released it on the Atari Lynx console.

When you look at the "Audio" character it produces "beeps" in ABCmusic notation. So "cccc 2z cccc" means 4 beeps at note "c", silence for 2 notes "2z", 4 beeps at note "c". All the music in the game was written like this. I had four "Audio" characters. (chan0, chan1, chan2, chan3)

Image

Of course I had to write a back-end for Atari Lynx. But the story was written graphically using Haroldo's code. He is a nice guy living in Brazil and he helped me to get started.

All code was compiled on a RaspberryPi for the retro cart. I also have a PiHAT that lets me read/write retro carts.
Image

PiGraham
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Re: Scratch resources for adults?

Wed Feb 19, 2020 9:15 am

Cool

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