Scratch Standalone

Sctatch (from MIT) has become a favourite in schools and is almost universally well received (anecdotally everyone I’ve met thinks it’s great).  The one drawback is needing to run scratch to play the game you’ve made.  I’ve always thought that it would be great to be able to compile a single .exe from scratch.

I’ve just found out about 2 projects looking at this.  The first is Chirp.  This uses the Scratch program but builds on it and adds extra functionality (including .exe export).  Chirp can be found here.

There is talk of a ‘mock’ compiler.  I’m not exactly sure what this does or what the results are like but it is being prototyped, you can read about it here: Chirp Standalone blog.

Finally, you CAN build your own blocks for Scratch (might be a good A Level project?).  Some ideas for getting started with this can be found at the Scratch Blog in a slide show that tells you how to make a ‘flip’ command.

I’ve not experimented with any of these so please comment (or contact me directly) if you have any thoughts.

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3 thoughts on “Scratch Standalone

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  1. Hi, I’m the author of the Chirp user interface extensions to MIT-Scratch, the Scratch2Exe tool and the ‘flip’ tutorial for creating customized Scratch blocks. Thanks for mentioning all of these these in your blog.

    I’d just like to shed some light on the ‘mock compiler’ issue: Actually I’m calling it a ‘fake compiler’, which seems to be a common technique for distributing interpreted program code as ‘standalone’ executables, by packaging it along with a ‘runtime’ version of the interpreter into a single exe-file. The upside is, that it actually works. Among the downsides is that the resulting exe-file is about 2 MB larger than the original Scratch project before compilation, and that compiling a Scratch project this way is neutral for its performance, i.e. it will not become any faster (since its runtime execution is still interpreted).

    In any way, the compilation result is always a single Windows exe file containing a single Scratch project. This exe-file can be shared with others and also run on computers on which you don’t have admin rights (and thus cannot install Scratch, e.g. in most school/college environments which are using Vista or are otherwise locked down). It will present the packaged Scratch project in fullscreen mode and exit back to Windows when you press the escape key or click on the return symbol.

  2. This souds great news Jens, thanks for letting us know. I will investigate it further when I have cleared my paperwork backlog (probably some time in August!!!).

    In the mean time if anyone out there has a go please let us know your experiences.

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