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I'm looking for an alternative to MIT's Scratch. It has a drag-and-drop visual interface emabling kids can construct programming-like instructions for on-screen actions and to control lego WeDo hardware. But despite the open source nature, there have been precious few adaptations to cheaper hardware besides lego. It seems the software has been written with no such considerations - what I've read suggests the code is complex and monolithic with no useable API for hardware interface.

I want a GUI library with behaviour like that of Scratch, purely allowing kids to visually build programming constructs. I would then write "blocks" that can be dragged/dropped and either allow reading of inputs (sensors) or writing outputs (eg lights, motors).

Are there any alternatives to Scratch?

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Not quite like Scratch but Node-RED has a contributed plugin for Lego WeDo. Node-RED was designed for the "Internet of Things" and has many plugins. It is a "Flow-based" development tool that uses a flowchart like interface unlike Scratch which uses a traditional functional programming style.

I use Node-RED a lot for home automation but I don't have Lego WeDo so can't comment on how good the contribution is.

I think that LabView also has a module for WeDo but it isn't clear and I've never used LabView.

There are a number of other alternatives to Scratch but many are based on it and probably don't have interfaces for WeDo but may be worth investigating anyway.

  • Your node-red link goes to an ad site - as far as I can tell, nodered.org is the right place to go – CL22 Oct 14 '16 at 3:49
  • The page of alternatives to scratch has a section called drag and drop programming which is exactly what I was after. Thanks! – CL22 Oct 14 '16 at 3:54
  • @Jodes: my bad sorry. correcting link – Julian Knight Oct 14 '16 at 8:51

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