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[liberationtech] Scratch 3.0 preview announced

Phil Shapiro pshapiro at
Sun Jan 28 07:42:20 PST 2018

For those of you doing coding with kids, you might want to take a look at the Scratch 3.0 preview. It currently works with Firefox, but 
not Google Chrome. 

Scratch 3.0 Preview FAQ 


What is Scratch 3.0? 
Scratch 3.0 is the next generation of Scratch. It expands how, what, and where you can create with Scratch. With Scratch 3.0, you will be able to play Scratch projects on your phone, create Scratch projects on your tablet, and control Scratch projects with your voice. And there are many other new features too! 

When will the Scratch website transition to Scratch 3.0? 
We plan to launch the online version of Scratch 3.0 in August 2018. For people without Internet connectivity, an offline version of the Scratch 3.0 programming editor will be available later in 2018. 

What is the Preview version of Scratch 3.0? 
The Preview version lets you see and try out new features and changes in preparation for the launch of Scratch 3.0. The Preview includes only the Scratch programming editor, not the rest of the website. 

What’s included in this Preview version of Scratch 3.0? 
The Preview version includes many of the core features of the Scratch 3.0 programming editor, but you’ll notice that some important features haven’t been added yet (such as the ability to save projects or import your own images). We will continue to add features between now and the official launch in August. We plan to release new features every couple weeks, so check back often! 

Will all of my previous projects still work? 
Yes. We are working hard to make sure projects that were created in earlier versions of Scratch still work in Scratch 3.0. In the coming months, we will be providing ways for you to try out your existing Scratch 2.0 projects. 

Can I save and share projects that I create with the Scratch 3.0 Preview? 
Right now, you can’t save or share. In the next few months, we’ll provide a way for you to save your Preview projects on your local drive. You won’t be able to share projects into the online community until the official Scratch 3.0 launch . 

What changes are planned for the rest of the Scratch website? 
The Preview version focuses only on the programming editor, but w e also plan to make other improvements to the website . For the launch of Scratch 3.0 in August , we're planning some new features and new designs (especially for the homepage and project pages), but existing community features will all still be there. We will share more information as we get closer to the release of Scratch 3.0. 

How can I share feedback and report bugs? 
You can share your comments and bugs with us by clicking the “Feedback” button in the top-right corner of the Scratch 3.0 Preview. 

Will Scratch 3.0 be available in multiple languages? 
The Preview is available only in English, but we will be adding translations in the coming months. By the launch in August, we plan to support the same range of world languages (with improved support for right-to-left languages). 
What’s New? 


Will Scratch 3.0 remove any existing blocks? 
No blocks have been removed in Scratch 3.0, but some have changed a bit and others have moved into “Extensions” (as described below). 

Will Scratch 3.0 introduce new blocks? 
Yes ! You will find some new blocks in the Preview version. 

    * New sound "effect" blocks 
    * New operators that make it easier to work with text (strings) 
    * New pen blocks, including support for transparency 
    * New glide block to move easily to a sprite (or random point) 
    * Many new extensions (see the “Extensions” section below) 

Why are the blocks bigger in Scratch 3.0 than in earlier versions? 
In order to make Scratch 3.0 work well on tablets, we needed to make the blocks bigger, so that it’s easier to drag and tap the blocks. 

What are the changes in the Scratch 3.0 interface? 
We made a number of changes to the Scratch user interface, to make it easier to use and learn. Here are a few of the changes: 

    * You can now scroll through all of the blocks (from all of the categories) in a single list 
    * The stage is now on the right, instead of the left 
    * There are now new ways to add sprites and backdrops and extensions 
    * Some blocks (such as “point in direction”) have a more visual and intuitive way to select inputs 
    * All projects now start with a variable (called “my variable”) to help make them more visible for beginners 
    * The pen blocks and music blocks are now Extensions to allow adding of features while simplifying the basic block palette 
    * Color picker blocks offer more options and control 

Sprites, Sounds, & Backdrops 

Will there be new sprites, sounds, and back drops? 
Yes! We’re working with illustrators and musicians to update all of our asset libraries with new art and new sounds. Many of the previous sprites, sounds, and backdrops will continue to be available in the libraries. Paint Editor 

What are the new features in the Paint Editor? 
We’re re-designing the Paint Editor in Scratch 3.0 to provide some powerful new features while also making it easier to use. These changes and features include: 

    * New layout that makes available tools and options more visible 
    * New tools such as an “eraser” that works in vector mode 
    * More options for selecting and adjusting colors 
    * More control over vector points (curve handles and point modes) 
    * Additional controls for layer ordering (“bring to front”, “move to back”, etc.) 
    * New gradient controls (coming soon) 

When will the bitmap mode be available? 
The Preview version doesn’t have a bitmap editor yet, but we’re working on it ! =^..^= 
Sound Editor 

What are the new features in the Sound Editor? 
The sound editor in Scratch 3.0 has been redesigned to be easier to record and manipulate sounds. It offers a number of new features: 

    * New recording system that is easier to use 
    * New audio trimming system that is easier to use 
    * New sound effects (such as “faster”, “slower”, “echo”, and “robot”) 

Help and Support Materials 

Will help materials be available inside the Scratch project editor? 
Yes, we're updating help materials to make them available inside Scratch. These will be ready for release in August 2018. 

How will newcomers get started? 
Scratch 3.0 is designed to make getting started with coding easier . We will have new features to help beginners coming to Scratch for the first time. 

What are extensions? 
Extensions provide a way for you to extend Scratch in new and interesting ways. Extensions provide new sets of blocks like “Pen” and “Music” and can connect to services such as speech recognition or physical hardware like LEGO robotics kits. 

How do extensions work in Scratch 3.0? 
Extensions can be added to any project by clicking on the “Extensions” button in the bottom left corner of the Scratch programming editor. After adding an extension, it will add a new category of blocks to your project that will be automatically loaded each time your project is opened. 

What extensions are available? 
Quite a few extensions are available in the Preview version with many more in development. Some extensions currently in scheduled for release in August 2018 include: 

    * Music: play instruments and drums 
    * Pen: draw with your sprites 
    * Video Sensing: detect motion with the camera 
    * Speech: talk to your projects 
    * LEGO WeDo 2.0: connect Scratch to the LEGO WeDo 
    * LEGO Boost: connect Scratch to the LEGO Boost 

How can I create my own extensions for Scratch 3.0? 
See the “Developers” section below. 

Scratch 3.0 is built on industry-standard HTML5 technology and is no longer dependent on Flash. Because of this, it runs in any modern web browser. 

What browsers will be supported? 
Chrome (63+) 
Edge (15+) 
Firefox (57+) 
Safari (11+) 
Internet Explorer will NOT be supported. 

Mobile Chrome (62+) 
Mobile Safari (11+) 

Will Scratch 3.0 work on Chromebooks? 

Will Scratch 3.0 work on tablets? 
Scratch 3.0 will work on desktop, laptop, and tablet devices (iOS and Android). In addition projects will be able to be played on mobile phones. Mobile phone project creation support is in progress but will not be available in August. 

Will Internet Explorer be supported? 
No. We encourage Scratch 2.0 users using Internet Explorer to upgrade their browsers in advance of the Scratch 3.0 official launch. 

What is WebGL and why do I need it to run Scratch 3.0? 
WebGL is a browser technology that is used by Scratch 3.0 to render projects to the stage. While WebGL is supported in all modern browsers, some older computers and operating systems can not support it. For users that can not run WebGL we recommend using the Scratch 2.0 Offline Editor. 
Resources & Materials 

If you are a publisher or resource creator you can fill out [this form] and we will send you details and support as you prepare to update for Scratch 3.0 

I’ve created books, online videos, or starter projects based on Scratch 2.0 will I need to update them? 
Yes. In many cases you will want to update your resources to reflect the interface changes. You may also want to create new resources to highlight new features in Scratch 3.0. 

When can I start updating them? 
We plan to have many of the features and interface for Scratch 3.0 available at the launch of the Scratch 3.0 preview . We plan to stabilize the interface and features by the end of May. Developers 

What is the Scratch 3.0 extensions system and when will it be available for developers? 
Scratch 3.0 includes a new extensions system that the Scratch Team has designed to enable developers to connect the Scratch programming editor to a wide range of devices and services. 

How can I create an extension for Scratch 3.0? 
The Scratch Team will be publishing an extensions specification and guidelines later in 2018. Once available you will be able to submit extensions to the Scratch Team for consideration in the Scratch 3.0 extensions library. 

What will happen to the website? 
Once experimental extensions are fully supported in Scratch 3.0 we will discontinue support for ScratchX and provide developers and users time to transition to Scratch 3.0. 

Will all the extensions currently available on be available at launch of 3.0? 
No. Scratch extensions created for ScratchX and Scratch 2.0 are not compatible with Scratch 3.0. 
Scratch 1.4 & 2.0 

Will I still be able to access Scratch 2.0 and Scratch 1.4? 
The 1.4 and 2.0 versions of the Scratch Offline Editor will continue to be available. We will make it easier for users to discover and download the 2.0 offline editor at launch. 

Projects created in the 2.0 Offline Editor will continue to be able to upload into the online community. Projects created in the 3.0 editor will not run in the 2.0 offline editor (as is also the case with 2.0 projects and Scratch 1.4). 

What will happen to Scratch 2.0 when Scratch 3.0 launches? 
The online version of Scratch 2.0 will no longer be available. Projects created in Scratch 2.0 should all continue to work in Scratch 3.0. 

I use an offline version of Scratch 2.0. Will I be able to continue using it and uploading to the community? 

Will I still be able to download the Scratch 1.4 and 2.0 Offline Editors? 
Yes. We plan to continue to support downloads of the Scratch 1.4 and 2.0 Offline Editors for several years. 

Phil Shapiro, pshapiro at 

"Wisdom begins with wonder." - Socrates 
"Learning happens thru gentleness." 

"We must reinvent a future free of blinders so that we can choose from real options." David Suzuki 

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