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.

Features:

  • 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.



22 comments:

  1. any chance it will run the msp430?

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  2. Any chance I could translate this to Portugues?

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  3. I second the msp430 request.

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  4. Hi, I didn't work with the msp430, if it has a free toolchain, redistributable, like a port of GCC, it would be possible.

    Regarding Portugues, the environment, when released the v1.0 will be have an easy way to be internationalizalized. And there will be, at first, 2 languaes: English and Español, so as I don' know Portuges at written level, it will very easy to any Portugues-speaking user to translate it (just edit an XML file).

    Thanks for your comments! Keep in touch...

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  5. Unbelivable!
    Avesome work. All i can contribute is translation - Polish...
    can't wait for 1.0!

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  6. Any release date? I will contribute translating to Portuguese.

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  7. Hi, many many thanks to all! Regarding the date, if everything goes Ok, I will be releasing the first version (v1.0.Alpha) for the end of the next month, after a kickstarter.com campaign that must start this week.

    About the translations: many thanks! I'm still working in the internationalization inner code, so once it becomes ready, it will be very nice to have as many translations as possible. If you want, you can both follow me on Twitter or suscribe to this blog, to keep updated.

    Regards!

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  8. I subscribe to the MSP430... There are 2 GCC ports: MSPGCC and MSPGCC4.
    Also, if you need a Romanian translation, count me in :)

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  9. Thanks! Any difference between both compilers? Is there a representative board (like Arduino to AVRs) for that MCU?

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  10. msp430 value line of micro controllers can be programed with the msp430 launchpad www.ti.com/430value. if u need aussie translation i can hook u up "make the bloody light blink already mate"

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  11. https://estore.ti.com/430BOOST-SENSE1-MSP430-Capacitive-Touch-BoosterPack-P2361.aspx this looks fun

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  12. got myself an arduino uno. cant wait to try this out :D

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  13. Hi I want to build a led driver with extra function but even @ 30 I struggle with programming.

    Will I be able to use this for PWM based device?

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  14. Hi, yes. Minibloq already has PWM blocks. There is a screenshoot of a small example with PWM blocks and a Seeeduino board (it works with standard Arduinos too) here in the last update in Kickstarter's Minibloq page:
    http://kck.st/jSbzTl

    Regards!
    Julián

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  15. Hi Guys,
    When will Minibloq be available for download.
    There are a number of links to Minibloq for some months now, but the download site just shows "Comming Soon". I'd luv to play with this, as I like the idea of the GUI for Arduino.
    I even tried signing up as a backer, but that's not possible anymore.
    Bernd

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  16. Hi Bernd, thanks! Yes, the Kickstarter campaign has ended, so it's not possible to back the project anymore. I'm working a lot on the soft itself, so the site is not envolving by now, but will, once the Beta becomes public. This will be soon, and will be announced here, in this blog.
    Best regards,
    Julián

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  17. Thanks for the update Julian.
    Bernd

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  18. Hi! Minibloq.v0.8.Beta has been released today, please take a look at the Downloads.

    Cheers!
    Julián

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  19. @Octavio Se precisares de ajuda diz qualquer coisa :)

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  20. Thanks metRo_! The most important thing now for all of us to particpate with applications, examples, posts in the forum, etc. By other hand once Minibloq's sources becomes published, help will be welcome with coding, translations, and the like. Thanks!

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  21. hi

    i had installed the minibloq in windows 7 and disabled my antivirus, the program still does not run up, may i know where i gone off? thanks

    btw, this is a good software initiative, i am happy to experience it..:D

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