Scratch is a free, easy to use, "drag-and-drop" programming language. It can be downloaded for free here. It is developed by the Scratch Team and hosted (along with the shared projects created with it) on the official MIT subsite.
The next version, Scratch 2.0, is to be released in 2011.
Scratch is used in schools around the world as a means of introducing basic computer programming to children. It also used outside of schools, introduced by friends or parents.
Children gain an understanding of the fundamentals of programming with Scratch, and eventually move on to other programming languages.
Released officially on July 19, 2009.
- New blocks for string handling (such as joining two phrases or words together, or checking the length of a word) and "asking" (to ask the user information such as his name).
- The Ask Block (asks for input from the user).
- A new boolean block for lists, "___ contains ___", which checks if the list has a certain item into it.
- You can now use a webcam to take pictures, to use them in sprites and backgrounds.
- There are some "hidden" blocks under the Motion category, for use with the LEGO WeDo Robotics kit.
- The "sensor value" block in the Sensing Blocks category supports the tilt and distance sensors.
- Modified GUI.
- Support for resolutions as small as 800×600.
- A new stage mode, added to presentation mode and regular mode: Small stage mode.
- Projects are now stored in a "My Scratch Projects" folder in My Documents.
- Numbers (the blocks color-coded lime-green) have been changed to Operators.
- A revised color picker.
- Various minor changes as well.
- Release Candidate: Released on June 5, 2009, this version could be downloaded by people willing to test out it.
- "Scratch Day Beta": Given out at various Scratch Day celebrations on May 16, 2009. One particular thing about this version is that it had a feature named "Mesh", which allowed online connectivity.
Released officially on September 2, 2008.
- 42 languages.
- Variables can handle strings (non-digit text)
- Variables can show and hide.
- Lists (ways of storing multiple pieces of information in one place).
- Comments (small rectangles that you can type into - can attach to blocks) have been added.
- Given fonts are replaced with the fonts from your computer.
- If, Repeat, and Forever blocks automatically wrap around block stacks when dragged over them.
- Revised block graphics.
- Scratch 1.3.1: No new features, but:
- Fixed bugs.
- Support for new languages.
- Updated translations for already implemented languages.
- This feature introduced the Disappearing Text Glitch.
Released officially on December 7, 2007.
- [rest for ( ) beats] block.
- Hidden sprites cannot block clicks onto other sprites in presentation mode.
- The tempo block monitor looks global, not sprite-specific.
- Fixed a bug in the [change tempo by ( )] block.
- Default time for Say and Think blocks is set to 2 seconds.
- Key names now translate correctly.
- At startup, sprites and costumes names display in the current language.
- Better image compression for some images.
- Fixed the tooltip message for the sound deletion button.
- In the Macintosh disk image all Scratch subfolders and files are writable by all.
- Multiple fixes to sample projects.
Variants: Scratch 1.2 - 1.2.1 was made to correct numerous glitches, but included several new features as well.