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Minibloq: Graphical programming environment for Arduino
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Minibloq: Graphical programming environment for Arduino

by juliandasilva on Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:04 pm

Hi!

I'm working on an new graphical programming environment for Arduino, physical computing devices and robots. It's called Minibloq and, although it's not finished yet, it's possible to see something here:

http://minibloq.org

I think it may be specially usefull in schools, and it may have some interesting features as well, like the following:

  • Runs completely offline and it's portable (can execute from a pendrive).
  • It's fast (C++ native program).
  • Really generates C/C++ code, compiles it and sends it to the board's flash, just with one click.
  • Wine compatible: It even runs on an OLPC XO (there are videos on the website).
  • Expandable.
  • Modern GUI, with dockable panes, zoom, key navigation, etc..
  • Made with open source tools (basically wxWidgets, MinGW, Code::Blocks, Inkscape...)
  • Once finished the v1.0 it will become open source (MIT like license, with just a limitation: non-military use).

I'm trying to finish a first public version (v0.4) for the end of the next month (waiting for a possible kickstarter one-month banned).

Feedback is welcome!

Here is a small screenshoot (a blink program):

Image
Ah, and here are examples:

http://blog.minibloq.org/p/examples.html

Regards!
Julián

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Re: Minibloq: Graphical programming environment for Arduino

by tastewar on Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:26 pm

Cool!

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Re: Minibloq: Graphical programming environment for Arduino

by juliandasilva on Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:32 pm

Thanks!

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Re: Minibloq: Graphical programming environment for Arduino

by adafruit_support_bill on Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:39 pm

Very nice! I have been involved in graphical/block-oriented programming from the early days (pre IEC 61131-3) and know well the advantages and limitations of graphical programming environments. I like that you have a "text" pane next to the block pane. Is the text editable? And does it update the block diagram?

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Re: Minibloq: Graphical programming environment for Arduino

by juliandasilva on Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:44 pm

That is very advanced feature, which is in the wish list, but not will be implemented soon.

But the blocks will be user-defined, and the backend is not limited to C/C++.

Regards, and thanks!
Julián

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Re: Minibloq: Graphical programming environment for Arduino

by adafruit_support_bill on Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:51 pm

the blocks will be user-defined

So blocks can be written in whatever the back-end language is? That in itself would be a powerful and useful feature.

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Re: Minibloq: Graphical programming environment for Arduino

by juliandasilva on Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:01 pm

Yes. The first release will be a little hardcoded, and that (and because other "details") is why I'm still working hard and starting a kickstarer.com banned next week. But the environment is fully reconfigurable. I wrote it as a code generator that compiles and uploads the hex (or whatever it generates) with one click, but all the command line actions are specified in the backend XML files. So the thing is multitarget, user configurable, and it's not limited to C/C++. If you have a command line toolchain, you can even generate G-Code for a mill-machine. That's up the third party developers or up to the advanced users. My original version will be shipped "batteries included", but witn avr-gcc, for Arduino and for RobotGroup's ([url]robotgroup.com.ar[/url]) Multiplo (DuinoBot and DuinoBot.Kids) hardware.

Enjoy!
Julián

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Re: Minibloq: Graphical programming environment for Arduino

by Evil Genius jr. on Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:15 pm

Awesome
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Re: Minibloq: Graphical programming environment for Arduino

by juliandasilva on Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:19 pm

Thanks!

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Re: Minibloq: Graphical programming environment for Arduino

by juliandasilva on Mon May 02, 2011 4:15 pm

Hi, Minibloq is in Kickstarter from today:

http://kck.st/mnWW8y

This means that the release is comming soon!

Any help making this public is very very welcome.

Regards,
Julián

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Re: Minibloq: Graphical programming environment for Arduino

by juliandasilva on Sun Oct 23, 2011 11:21 am

Hi! Minibloq Beta has been released today:

http://minibloq.org

It's still a Beta, but I'm working hard on the project.

Thanks!
Julián

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Re: Minibloq: Graphical programming environment for Arduino

by juliandasilva on Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:25 am

Hi!

Hi! As part of the new preliminary documentation, we have added a page with complete examples, most of which include Frizting diagrams, videos and Minibloq code (mbqc files). These examples start from the simple ones (like the well known "blink", to get started fast) adding complexity progressively. All of them include the parts list and most can be built using spare components as well as sets such as the SparkFun Inventor's Kit for Arduino, the ::oomlout:: ARDX or the RobotGroup Multiplo TechBox. We encourage Minibloq users to add their own designs to the forum, so we can post about them too! You can click here, or in the following image to go to the page:

http://blog.minibloq.org/p/tutorials-and-examples.html

Minibloq will have soon user blocks and more features (the project is very active), to make it more suitable for more complex applications.

Image

Thanks!
Julián

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Re: Minibloq: Graphical programming environment for Arduino

by juliandasilva on Sun May 06, 2012 1:45 pm

Hi!

Last week was released the Minibloq.v0.81.Beta, which is the first version that supports full internationalization. Soon I will be posting about the roadmap of the project, as well as updating the documentation with the new features. Also, I hope this week to document exactly how to add complete translations to any language.
Here is the post about the release:

http://blog.minibloq.org/2012/05/minibloqv081beta-full.html

This is the changelog:

http://blog.minibloq.org/p/versions-changelog-and-known-issues.html

Thanks!
Julián

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Re: Minibloq: Graphical programming environment for Arduino

by juliandasilva on Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:36 am

Hi! yesterday, we released the Linux native version of Minibloq:

http://blog.minibloq.org/2012/08/native-minibloq-for-linux-released.html

Feedback, testing and ideas are very welcome...

Thanks!
Julián

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Re: Minibloq: Graphical programming environment for Arduino

by juliandasilva on Wed May 07, 2014 4:23 pm

Hi!

I’m glad to (finally!) announce the new miniBloq.v0.82 version. It has a lot of improvements, and it supports the Arduino Leonardo, SparkFun RedBot, Sparki, Pi-Bot (pi-bot.org), the new DuinoBot.v2.3 (both in HID and in CDC mode) and a bunch of hardware. There is a lot of new features too: small 2D simulator for kids (miniSim), more blocks, better usability, improved performance, and a new XML backend to easily add new hardware and new blocks without recompiling anything! This last feature makes it really easy to hack, since miniBloq now can generate code not just for C/C++ Arduino-compatible boards, but also for Python and nearly any imperative/OOP language Take a look at the release post in miniBloq’s website:

http://blog.minibloq.org/2014/05/minibl ... eased.html

Enjoy!
Julián

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