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Scratch Extensions make it possible to connect Scratch projects with external hardware (such as LEGO WeDo or micro:bit), sources of information on the web (such as Google Translate and Amazon Text to Speech), or blocks allowing for more advanced functionality. They add a collection of command and reporter blocks that can be used to interact with a particular device or data source. When an extension is enabled, its blocks appear in a location with the same name as the extension.
To load an extension, click the icon in the bottom-left hand corner of the screen and select an extension.
There are two types of extensions in Scratch 3.0: hardware and web.
|Note:||This mechanism works only with the offline editor.|
Scratch 2.0 cannot interact with hardware devices directly. Instead, hardware extensions come with a helper app — a separate application that the user must install and run on their computer. Scratch communicates with the helper app via HTTP requests, and the helper app talks to the hardware. In the future, some extensions may package their helper apps as browser plugins.
A document (last updated: September 2013) has been drafted for Scratch 2.0 HTTP extension developers to describe the extension description file format — the protocol used to communicate between Scratch extension helper apps, and the extension development process. This specification is still preliminary and may change.
The Scratch 2.0 extension mechanism is still under development, and the Scratch Team is still figuring out how the extensions will be shared and distributed.
An extension distribution strategy is still being worked out. The Scratch team will probably host a small library of "supported" extensions. Users will be able to browse and select extensions from this library from within the Scratch editor. Supported extensions would be checked for quality and safety by the Scratch team. There are likely be strict criteria for including an extension in the Scratch-team supported extensions library, such as command set clarity and ease of use, size of the potential audience, widespread availability of any associated hardware, and a long-term commitment to support the extension.
Projects with experimental extensions cannot be shared on the Scratch website and will result in a pop-up message whenever a user tries to share a project with experimental extensions. Extension developers can share their extensions by distributing Scratch 2 project files (.sb2). Users can then use the "File > Upload from computer" command to import the project that uses the extension.
|This article or section documents something not included in the current version of Scratch (3.0). It is only useful from a historical perspective.|
- Main article: ScratchX
ScratchX was a gallery of experimental extensions that one could try out on the ScratchX website. The website could be found here. There were multiple Scratch extensions on ScratchX. It was discontinued in Scratch 3.0, due to the extensions being supported in the main Scratch editor, but it remains available to use.
- Adding Extensions via Developer Tools
- Developing Scratch Extensions (forum)
- Hardware that can Connect to Scratch
- How to Connect to the Physical World
- LEGO Education WeDo Robotics Kit
- Making Scratch Extensions
- Remote Sensor Protocol in Scratch 1.4
- Scratch 1.4 Modifications
- Scratch Modification