Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What is Minibloq?

Minibloq is a graphical programming environment for Arduino™ and other Arduino™-compatible boards, such as DuinoBot. It's currently under development, and I will soon launch a Kickstarter campaign, to finish the software and make it available to everyone. One of it's main goals is to bring closer Arduino™ and  Multiplo™ platforms to primary schools.


  • Easy, just a few clicks and the first program is running.
  • Fast: I'ts compiled with C++ (gcc), using wxWidgets. For this reason, Minibloq is suitable for low end computers and netbooks.
  • Free and ¡with sources!: The program will be available for free, in its full version. No fees for advanced features or the like. Just download and start using it. In addition, the full source code will be available too. The license? Something called RMPL (RobotGroup-Multiplo-Pacifist-License). This license is basically a MIT license, but with a restriction that bans military projects. More on this soon...
  • Advanced interface: Zoom, Copy, Cut and Paste, Undo/Redo, and keyboard navigation are just some of the features the Minibloq's interface has. And there are more...
  • Modular and expandable: The user can easily create it's own new blocks.
  • All-in-one-ready-to-use-solution: This is "batteries included software". The package includes everything to start working.
  • Portable: It does not requires installation (except for the drivers required for the specific boards, like Arduino™). It can run from a pen drive too. Oh, and it runs completely off-line, all in your own computer. More: You can have parallel copies of Minibloq, even with different settings running in the same computer.
  • Easy integration with new hardware: Adding support for new platforms and boards (in Minibloq are called targets) is straightforward. This may be not a feature for beginners, but it will not be so difficult anyway. Even different compilers and languages could be added.
  • Ready for the transition to text-based programming: Minibloq shows the generated code in a syntax colored window. In the first version this will be Arduino™ code, so this may be very useful for the users and students who want to start fast with graphical programming, and then go to to the next step.
  • Internationalization: The first release will be available in English and Spanish, but the user and the community can contribute with new translations, since this only implies editing a text file.