Skip to Content

The Need for Portable Scratch?

« Reflections
2 replies [Last post]
Vannevar Yu

The iPad [tm] (Apple) and Nook Color [tm] (Android) appear to have a good form factor for younger children -- not too small like a cellphone, not too big like a laptop.  Will a portable version of Scratch ever surface?  Will this be a better alternative to the fascination with "DS-I"?  Ideally it would be compatible mainstream Scratch and projects shoud be able to run (or be ported in one-ish step).


The Catroid project (Alpha) is off to a good start, working on a number of Android handsets.  My own tests using a Nook Color didn't go too well, but directionally it's getting there.  Currently this is not port-able to the main Scratch site, but posting is on its own Catroid site (also Alpha).


Within the last 24 hours, the talented community of programmers at XDA Developers have managed the incredible feat of developing a Ubuntu port to the Nook Color, sans tether (see   Initial attempts to get a Scratch Ubuntu DEB package to install failed.  Also, trying to play an existing Scratch .sb file using a browser plus the ScratchApplet.jar and files did not work.  Undoubtedly as the development of Nookbuntu progresses and more functionality is built, we might finally have a "portable" Scratch that will be compatible with the main Scratch site.


FFI, please see the following posts on XDA:

Attempts to get Nookbuntu running, along with attempt at Scratch installation (5/19/2011)

Nookbuntu 0.3 beta thread


Vannevar Yu

Had another quick email from Linux Scratch guru Miry: she she pointed me to the ARM Debian packages for Scratch!  I sideloaded these to the Nook Color and tried to run them, but the installation failed nevertheless.  But this bodes well for the future when a more stable beta of "Nookbuntu" is released.



What is interesting here is the collaborative way very innovative applications are created by the XDEV folks on the Android platform -- open source + community = cutting edge results.  Rapid prototyping at its fastest without throwing sacks of money on objectives that may have been ill-defined by some focus group.


In some ways, very similar to the strengths displayed by Scratch.

Vannevar Yu

Had a super-quick email reply from the Linux Scratch expert Amos, and it looks like there won't be a Debian package for ARM.  Possibly contemplating Flash in future releases?  Unlike the iPad, Nook Color does support Flash.  Technology marches on!