[python-uk] Open Sourcing MicroPython on the BBC micro:bit

Michael sparks.m at gmail.com
Tue Oct 20 12:32:07 CEST 2015


On 20 October 2015 at 11:11, Jurgis Pralgauskis <
jurgis.pralgauskis at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi,
> an alternative to TouchDevelop could be Blockly
> <https://developers.google.com/blockly/>, as it currently has translation
> to Python,
> example
> https://blockly-demo.appspot.com/static/demos/code/index.html#982hb3
> (it has various adaptations, for example - turtle graphics
> https://trinket.io/blocks )
While touch develop is also open source, there *is* a "blocks" interface in
the micro:bit platform - which under the hood is blockly. The reason for
both is because some schools use one, other schools use the other, etc.

(The prototype micro:bit system used in schools trials in January this year
used blockly as the front end, and the python generation interface, and it
looks like - from the source - that this has been used as the basis for the
blocks interface.)

That said, having worked with blockly I personally think it's great, and
provides the potential for a "graphical python" interface. (ie same
semantic model, generates text and converts from text back to blockly)

Integrating blockly with skulpt or brython seems a relatively simple task
for anyone wanting to play.

Anyway, the great thing about the micro-python implementation is that it
avoids the need for all the stuff I needed to do for the prototype, and
allows off-line use by definition :-)

I also (still) think it's absolutely astonishing that Damien managed to
port python to the micro:bit - it's an absolutely tiny device - just 16K
RAM, so getting this much python in such little runtime space is an amazing
feat :-)


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