|Scratch 2.0 Offline In Raspbian|
|Written by Lucy Black|
|Tuesday, 27 June 2017|
An update to the Raspberry Pi version of Linux, Raspbian, has an unexpected extra - the ability to run Scratch 2.0 locally, without the need for a browser connection, and with custom extensions which allows the user to control the Pi’s GPIO pins.
Up until now the version of Scratch supported by the Raspberry Pi was the original - currently at version 1.4 and while it was one of the most popular pieces of software on Raspberry Pi there were many requests to move to Scratch 2.0.
One of the advantages of Scratch 2.0 is that you don't download and install it. Instead it runs in a web browser and is hosted remotely. This makes it cross platform but, as it was written in Flash, it requires Flash, which was the first problem that had to be tackled to run it under Raspbian.
With the help of Adobe, the Pepper Flash plug in was developed for Raspbian, enabling Flash sites to run in the Chromium browser. However, this still required an internet connection to run, something that many Raspberry Pis might lack given the sorts of roles they fulfill.
In order to achieve an offline version of Scratch 2.0 for the Raspberry Pi (versions 2 and 3 only) the team took advantage of ScratchX and Electron which wraps up a local web page into a standalone application.
The result is that Scratch 2 can now run without Flash and without and internet connection - but only on the Raspberry Pi! It seems to be a good motivation for buying a Pi.
Given that the Raspberry Pi is a popular choice for IoT projects and for physical computing in general, the Scratch 2.0 application includes a custom extension for controlling the Pi's GPIO pins which has blocks for reading and writing the state of a GPIO pin.
For those who wish to program in Python, the updated version of Raspbian also includes the Thonny IDE, which the Raspberry Pi blog describes as:
a user-friendly IDE for Python which is excellent for beginners.
To know more about it, see Thonny IDE 2.0.
A Raspbian Desktop Update With Some New Programming Tools
Scratch 2.0 Released - Use It In A Browser
A Programmer's Guide to Scratch 2
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|Last Updated ( Tuesday, 27 June 2017 )|