Free ‘Scratch’ software offers ‘easy’ coding via simple graphical interface

Apple Store“A free programming tool that allows anyone to create their own animated stories, video games and interactive artworks has been developed,” Jonathan Fildes reports for BBC News. “Primarily aimed at children, Scratch does not require prior knowledge of complex computer languages.”

“Instead, it uses a simple graphical interface that allows programs to be assembled like building blocks,” Fildes reports.

Fildes reports, “The digital toolkit, developed in the US at MIT’s Media Lab, allows people to blend images, sound and video.”

“‘Computer programming has been traditionally seen as something that is beyond most people – it’s only for a special group with technical expertise and experience,’ said Professor Mitchel Resnick, one of the researchers at the Lifelong Kindergarten group at MIT. ‘We have developed Scratch as a new type of programming language, which is much more accessible,'” Fildes reports.

Fildes reports, “The program works by making the act of creating a computer program more like building with Lego bricks… Objects and characters, chosen from a menu and created in a paint editor or simply cut and pasted off the web, are animated by snapping together different “action” blocks into stacks… Each block contains a separate command, such as “move” or “play drum” and each action can be modified from a drop-down menu. Blocks can only be stacked if they fit together.”

“Scratch is inspired by the method hip hop DJs use to mix and scratch records to create new sounds,” Fildes reports.

Fildes reports, “Scratch is now available to download for free and works with both Apple Macs and Windows PCs.”

Full article here.

Scratch Intro:

More info about Scratch and download link here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Crabapple” for the heads up.]


  1. As a non-musician, that’s the same way I “create” music with GarageBand – with the same type of results! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />


  2. I just played with Scratch for a few minutes. It’s actually fun for messing around. Very simple. And ditto on Chris’s comment. And it costs just the right amount of scratch.

    ~ Stewart•Colbert•’08 ~

  3. Just been looking at this. The BBC have a game on the Dr. Who website based on scratch, Pretty good. Easy to start with then gets harder without you realising it.

    Go to the BBC search Dr. Who go to games.

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