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The final version of Scratch 1.0

The development of Scratch 1.0 was a long process, with its beginnings in 2003 to the release of the final program and Scratch website in January 2007.

List of Known Versions

Precursors to Scratch

The October 31, 1995 version of LogoBlocks.

In January of 1995, development began on a block-based programming environment for children by Albert Castillo of the EL (Epistemology and Learning) Group of the MIT Media Lab. The first version, titled tiles421.lisp, was completed on April 21, 1995. Later, a more fully developed version, which separated its code into several files instead of just one, was completed by Albert Castillo on May 24, 1995 for his thesis at MIT.

After the project was abandoned by Albert Castillo, as he had graduated from MIT, another EL Group member by the name of Andrew Begel picked up the project for his thesis in May of 1996 with Mitchell Resnick, one of the co-creators of Scratch, as his AUP advisor. The version demonstrated in Begel's thesis dates to October 31, 1995, and is the earliest currently available version of this program that has a pre-compiled application instead of only source code, as well as being the first version to use the name LogoBlocks. This version was able to download programs to MIT's prototype of the LEGO RCX. Not much is known about the development of LogoBlocks from 1996-1997, as only one, very poor screenshot exists of a 1997 version; however, it is known that block colors were changed, an if/else block was added to the program, and categories for the block palette were added. Additionally, during this time, the name of the program was changed from LogoBlocks to Logo Blocks.

In 1998, the Logo Blocks software was adapted into a consumer product in the form of a programming environment for the LEGO MindStorms Robotics Invention System. On January 5, 1999, version 2.5.4 of Logo Blocks was released, which added a miscellaneous block category and fixed some minor bugs. Over the course of 1999 and 2000, development of Logo Blocks was shifted from the EL Group of the Media Lab to the LLK Group, and the UI was heavily modified to look more modern. Additionally, support for Windows was added, as up until this point, the software would only run under Mac systems. On September 16, 2001, a Logo Blocks distribution was compiled for Mitchell Resnick's class at MIT, MAS714.

The Lifelong Kindergarten page contained a screenshot of an unknown build of LogoBlocks beginning in April 2001,[1] which was updated in December 2002.[2]

Not much is known about further development of Logo Blocks, though it is known that Logo Blocks development continued through 2002, including changing the names of several block categories and adding several blocks. Logo Blocks was discontinued in November of 2003, being replaced by Scratch.


An early version of Scratch (as of October 11, 2003)

The idea for Scratch was first proposed to the NSF in early 2003[3] by Mitch Resnick (of LLK and Scratch Team fame), John Maeda of MIT, and Yasmin Kafai of UCLA.[4] This proposal was accepted, and they were given a grant. Over the course of 2003, they worked on an early version of Scratch before testing it in Computer and with MIT and Harvard students in the fall (specifically late October for the latter).[5][dead link]

Pictured on the right is one such version, Scratch 11Oct03, featuring a very different layout than the final version. The project viewer was on the left whereas the scripts were on the right, which was later reversed (although the layout was changed back in Scratch 2.0). It also had none of the traditional menus or the block palette, and the blocks were much more square-shaped. The project field was resizable, meaning that projects created on higher-resolution monitors could be unusable on lower-resolution ones. Additionally, instead of costumes, file blocks were used to load images to sprites.


A cropped screenshot of 16Mar04.
The layout of a new project in 01Oct04.

In 2004, the main body of the program was redesigned so that the scripts area and project player were now reversed, as well as to allow for a dedicated area for sprites. The menu bar was fleshed out a little, adding the precursor to the green flag. The version from March also included the introduction of the stage, the ability to create named scripts, and the first implementation of broadcasts.[6]

There are images available of two other known versions from this year. The first, from around mid-2004, features different colors, new buttons, and simplified block names. The second, date December 22, 2004, adds more information about sprites as well as block names much closer to that of the released version.


In 2005, the layout of the Scratch program began to more closely resemble that of Scratch 1.0. Available images from the version in January 2005 reveal only a few differences, including a purple star button to make new sprites. In addition, there are a few blocks that were later removed, such as the change stretch by ():: looks block. This version was the first to be introduced to Computer Clubhouse programs.[8]


Little was shown to the public about Scratch in the early half of 2006, with the first version dating June 2006. [9] Later on, October and November betas were released onto the Scratch website. Those two versions introduced several blocks, including the following:

In addition, the Scratch Team introduced several features that remained part of the program until Scratch 1.4 or up to the present day, including the sprite creation buttons, importing and selection in the paint editor, toggleable Stage Monitors, and animated GIF importing. The November 2006 version of Scratch would prove to be the final version before the release of Scratch 1.0 in January 2007.

Squeak image downloads


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