Google Blockly Is A Visual Tool For Building Apps And Learning To Code

Google Blockly Is A Visual Tool For Building Apps And Learning To Code

Want to build your own app but feel a bit intimidated at the idea of programming? Google Blockly is a visual programming language that can help you get started quickly. The web app lets you drag blocks together to build apps, which can then be exported to actual programming languages.

Blockly was influenced by Google’s other graphical coding tool, App Inventor, which was influenced by MIT’s Scratch, a tool for teaching kids programming. Blockly looks strikingly similar to Scratch, in fact, except it can export the code blocks or show you the code underneath in JavaScript, Dart, Python and XML. It’s a learning tool that both kids and adults can use.

On the right side, you select blocks that contain commands, logic, variables and more, and then connect them together to create the rules for your script. On the left, you can run the program to see it in action. You don’t have to worry about making syntax errors and things like that — the aim is to learn programming logic first.

Google writes that Blockly can help even seasoned programmers write a quick script:

If one is writing a quick script using an unfamiliar API (such as office suite automation) it can take a long time to learn that API. With Blockly one can plug the blocks together for a first draft, then switch to the generated code to keep going.

Right now the app is a technical preview, but all you need is a web browser to get started using it and scratch your itch to learn how to code.

Blockly [via Wired]


Log in to comment on this story!