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Development of Blockly started in summer of 2011, and the first public release was at Maker Faire in May 2012. Blockly was originally designed as a replacement for OpenBlocks in App Inventor. Neil Fraser started the project with Quynh Neutron, Ellen Spertus and Mark Friedman as contributors.
The default user interface of the Blockly editor consists of a toolbox, which holds available blocks, and a workspace, where the user can drag (from the toolbox) and rearrange blocks. The workspace also includes, by default, zoom icons and a trashcan for deleting blocks. Note that the editor can be customised by visual language developers to customise the editing features available, as well as limiting which blocks are available.
Blockly is used in a number of notable projects, including:
- MIT's App Inventor, to create applications for Android.
- Blockly Games, a set of educational games that teach programming concepts such as loops and conditionals.
- Code.org, to teach introductory programing to millions of students in their Hour of Code program.
- RoboBlockly, a web-based robot simulation environment for learning coding and math.
- Verge3D leverages Blockly as a scripting environment for WebGL applications (dubbed Puzzles).
- Wonder Workshop, to control their Dot and Dash educational robots.
- Microsoft MakeCode, to teach programming on microcontroller-based learning boards.
- Web based using SVG, no Flash
- Support of major web browsers including: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, IE
- Mobile support on Android and iOS
- Support for many programmatic constructs including variables, functions, arrays
- Minimal type checking supported, designed for weakly typed languages
- Easy to extend with custom blocks. Use the block factory to make Blockly blocks with Blockly
- Clean code generation
- Step-by-step code execution for tracing and debugging code
- Localised into 50+ languages
- Support for left-to-right and right-to-left languages
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- "MIT App Inventor 2". MIT.
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- "Blockly: Maze Archives - BrainPOP Educators". BrainPop.
- "Translate Code.org". Code.org.
- "Verge3D 1.0.2 Brings Instant Web Publishing, New Puzzles and More!". Soft8Soft.
- "Wonder Workshop Blockly". Wonder Workshop.
- "What is Microsoft MakeCode?". Microsoft.
- "Blockly Demo". Blockly-demo.appspot.com. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- "Blockly Demo: JS Interpreter". Blockly-demo.appspot.com. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- "Localisation statistics for the Blockly core module". Translatewiki.net. Retrieved 16 January 2018.
- "Blockly Demo: RTL". Blockly-demo.appspot.com. Retrieved 16 January 2018.