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This article or section documents the current version of Scratch (version 3.0). For this article in Scratch 1.4, see Discussion Forums (1.4).
This article is about the main forums on Scratch. For information on the Text Based Games Forums, see Text Based Games Forums.
A picture of the Scratch Forums

The Discussion Forums is a forum on the Scratch Website where Scratchers may show others their projects, ask for help, or suggest ideas for the Scratch program or website. Some Scratchers choose to volunteer regularly on the forums.

Accessing the Forums

The Discussion Forums can be found in the site footer under "Community".[1] Prior to July 5, 2017, they could be accessed via a link in the header. The removal of the link caused many complaints that new users would not be able to find the forums.[2] After November 30, 2023, New Scratchers who have recently created their account are not able to reply to a thread or create a new one for a certain amount of time.

Menu Bar

The menu bar for the forums is below the words "Discuss Scratch", under the Scratch logo and has one option, Discussion Home. This lets a user quickly access the forum home.

Forum Categories

There are many forum categories. They are grouped as "Welcome to Scratch", "Making Scratch Projects", "About Scratch", "Interests Beyond Scratch", and "Scratch in Other Languages".

Each group of forum categories can be minimized or expanded by clicking the + or - sign at the top right of the group of forum categories.

Welcome to Scratch

The Welcome to Scratch category has the following two forums:

  • Announcements: "Updates from the Scratch Team." Only the Scratch Team can post new topics here. Whenever there is a major update to the website, they will post about it for everyone to know — these updates can consist of new versions of Scratch, website changes, downtime, Scratch events, or a survey. Topics here are always closed by a member of the Scratch Team after they have been open for a while.
  • New Scratchers: "A forum to welcome New Scratchers to the Scratch community. If you are new to Scratch, please post to say hello!" Created for new users, this is where New Scratchers can introduce themselves or ask simple questions. Scratchers can also greet new members of Scratch.

Making Scratch Projects

  • Help with Scripts: "Need help with your Scratch project? Ask here!" This is where users can ask questions about scripts for their projects.
  • Show and Tell: "Tell everyone about your projects and studios." Filled with advertisements, this is where to advertise projects and studios or check out other users' advertisements.
  • Project Ideas: "A place to give and get help thinking of project ideas." This forum is generally used for helping others and asking others for ideas on Scratch projects, as well as discussing projects that are currently being made.
  • Collaboration: "Join with others to work together on Scratch projects!" This forum is generally used for talking about different organizations, collaborations, and companies Scratchers have made to create projects together.
  • Requests: "Looking for something? Want to offer your skills to others?" This forum is generally used for requesting art for games and the website, as well as programming help. Many users open up shops to offer their skills to others, as well.
  • Project Save & Level Codes: A place to store codes from projects that let Scratchers resume play or show a design they have made.

About Scratch

  • April Fools Day - Suggest-Show-Question-Bugs-Help-Glitch-Tell-Etc (forum): "All joke posts go here! Community Guidelines still apply. Happy April Fools Day!" This forum is for Scratchers to post joke topics on April Fools' Day 2023. It was added on March 29, 2023, to make the forum clean-up easier after April Fools and to ensure that serious topics don't get flooded out by joke topics. However, this forum is no longer visible to Scratchers.
  • Questions about Scratch: "Post general questions about Scratch here." General questions pertaining to any aspect of the website are posted here.
  • Suggestions: "Discuss ideas for making improvements to Scratch." Scratchers can share an idea in the forum that they would like to see implemented. Scratch Team member Lightnin posted a stickied topic explaining how to make more helpful suggestions.[3]
  • Bugs and Glitches: "Found a bug in Scratch? Describe it here!" This is where Scratchers should discuss technical problems to find the relevant causes and seek proposed solutions.
  • Advanced Topics: "Talk about technical aspects, advanced features, or Scratch Modifications (Mods) here." This forum is where the advanced parts of Scratch are discussed, such as editing the System Browser, the Shift-Click-R feature, Scratch Modifications, or Build Your Own Blocks.
  • Connecting to the Physical World: "Topics related to Pico Boards, LEGO WeDo (tm), and connecting Scratch projects to the physical world." This forum involves the discussion of topics related to Sensor Boards and PicoBoards, but is rather inactive due to the small amount of users who are in possession of one.
  • Developing Scratch Extensions: "A forum to give and get help creating Scratch Extensions."
  • Open Source Projects: "Forum for all discussions that relate to Scratch's open source projects."

Interests Beyond Scratch

  • Things I'm Making and Creating: "Discuss things you are creating or exploring outside of Scratch, like art, music, programming languages, or crafts." This forum allows Scratchers to discuss any project that they are working on, even if it is not related to Scratch.
  • Things I'm Reading and Playing: "Discuss books, TV, movies, art, music, or video games that inspire you." A relaxing forum enjoyed by most Scratchers, many subjects are discussed here. Topics should not be about TBGs.

Scratch Around the World

Main article: Language Forums

Forums for non-English languages are available for discussion in non-English languages. The forums in Scratch Around the World are:

  • African
  • Indonesian
  • Catalan
  • German
  • Greek
  • Spanish
  • Persian
  • French
  • Hebrew
  • Korean
  • Italian
  • Dutch
  • Japanese
  • Norwegian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Turkish
  • Chinese

There are two other forums for other purposes:

  • Other Languages: "For languages not listed above" This forum is used for hosting topics that do not contain their own forums in Other Languages.
  • Translating Scratch: This is where to discuss translations; for example, a mistaken translation should be pointed out here.

Signature

Main article: Signature
The largest height allowed for a forum signature

A forum signature is a message displayed at the bottom of posts. Signatures are created on a per-user basis, appending the signature to the posts created by the initiating user. Signatures support post content, although images taller than 150 pixels are scaled down.[4] The Scratch Discussion Forums offers the ability to change signatures through the discussion footer.[5] This signature can be as creative as one would like as long as it follows the Scratch Community Guidelines and Terms of Use.

Uses

The forum signature supports any content that posts support but with a fixed height. Forum signatures commonly contain:

  • Advertisements for projects, shops, collaborations, etc.
  • A favorite quote
  • Information about the user
  • A banner/image by the user
  • News the user wants to share
  • Links to user's creations
  • A banner with the username
  • A tag for a suggesiton

Signatures have been used in many ways. Some Scratchers have programmed APIs in PHP to display special images that change automatically based on online information. These images can give up-to-date data on topics like a user's most recent projects, its Project Statistics, whether or not a user is online, or even a user's post count.[6] Similarly, Scratchers have created custom Scratch blocks whose text is their username, or the name of a project.

Private Forums

A 403 error that appears when attempting to access a restricted topic on Google Chrome. Safari and Mozilla Firefox may display a blank page. The result on other browsers may vary.

Private forums are forums only accessible to certain users. They have a number of uses, but usually, they exist for planning purposes and to hide information from those who should not see it. Only the Scratch Team can create a private forum.

List of Subjects with Private Forums on Scratch

403 Access Forbidden Error

Main article: 403 Error

When one attempts to view a private forum section, topic, or post that they do not have access to, they will get a 403 Error.

Following Topics

The button that allows following a topic.
The button that allows unfollowing a topic.

Users have the capability of following topics of their choice by clicking the purple "Follow Discussion" button at the top of a forum page. When following a topic, whenever someone posts on that topic, the followers will receive a notification telling them so. By default, when a user creates a topic, it is automatically followed by the creator, but one can unfollow a topic. When a topic that is followed is opened, instead of the "Follow Discussion" button a grey "Unfollow Discussion" button at the top will appear, which one can click to opt out of receiving notifications on new posts. A user will receive messages as the topic is updated.

Mobile View

Archive.png This article or section documents something not included in the current version of Scratch (3.0). It is only useful from a historical perspective.
text
A screenshot of the mobile forums on a Kindle Fire HD

At the bottom of every forum page was the option to switch to the mobile forums. This only worked for the forums, as the rest of the Scratch website used standard view. When switched to mobile viewing, the text in users' posts was adjusted to be more legible. Profile pictures, signatures, and blocks rendered with the blocks plugin did not display in the mobile view, which may have sped up the time for a page to load. The forum could be changed back to standard view by click a link labelled as "Standard" at the bottom.

The feature often broke when logged in, returning a 500 Error[citation needed]. This feature was removed on November 30, 2023, after the downtime, for security reasons.[8]

BBCode

Main article: BBCode

BBCode is a collection of formatting tags that are used to format users' forum posts. BBCode is based on the same principle as and is very similar to, HTML. BBCode can be used for things such as text formatting, links, and images.

Uploading Images

To upload images to the Scratch forum, an approved image hosting service must be used. Only images on the image host list can be used.

Editing Posts

Main article: Edit Post

Posts can be edited after posting. The first post can be edited by the author to change the topic name. New Scratchers cannot edit their posts after 24 hours have passed, to prevent users from saying something mean or inappropriate and changing it after other users see it.[citation needed]

Polls

It is possible to add a poll to the top of a topic when it is first posted. Polls are a remnant of the original DjangoBB code. The feature is partially broken and does not work at all when only one option is selectable. This functionality is not intended and using it is against the rules.[9]

Viewing All of One's Posts

A rather hidden feature on the forums is the ability to view, for a logged-in user, all of their posts and topics. These can be accessed by scrolling to the bottom and clicking on the "Show your topics/posts" links. "Topics" is a separate link from "posts" and will display all the various topics the user has posted on. It is not restricted to topics the user actually created. Clicking on the post link will display all the user's posts in multi-page format in chronological order from newest to oldest. Editing a post does not affect its chronological positioning in the sequence of a user's posts.

Post Count

When a user makes a post, the number of posts that they have is shown under their username. The exact post count is not displayed directly except a user's own post list (which is not visible to other users), but is rounded to certain other numbers:

  • 1-100 posts: The exact number of posts is shown
  • 101-500 posts: The number of posts is shown as 100+ posts
  • 501-1000 posts: The number of posts is shown as 500+ posts
  • 1001+ posts: The number of posts is shown as 1000+ posts

Controversy

Post counts are somewhat controversial on Scratch, as some Scratchers have requested exact post counts,[10] while others want post counts removed completely.[11] However, the general consensus is that the current system works fine because it prevents bragging and stops Scratchers with few posts feeling isolated among Scratchers with thousands of posts.[12][13]

Closing a Topic

If a topic has been open for 24 hours, and the user who created the topic has the Scratcher status, they can close it. Topics may also be closed by the Scratch Team. Closing topics disallows posting to the topic and removes the link to edit posts, although posts can still be edited by adding /edit to the end of the post link. Closing topics does not remove the ability to report posts in the topic. Only members of the Scratch Team can re-open topics after they have been closed. Scratch Team members can also post on topics even after they are closed.[14]

text
The close topic button.

Non-Scratch Team Re-Opened Topics

Archive.png This article or section documents something not included in the current version of Scratch (3.0). It is only useful from a historical perspective.

There was a now defunct method to re-open forum topics with a URL.[15] This vulnerability was fixed at an unknown date.

Sticky

Main article: Sticky

A sticky is a forum topic that is stuck to the top of its forum and does not have to be bumped back up. Moderators and the Scratch Team can sticky a thread. They are used to make important topics readily available. A Scratcher can report a topic to be stickied using the Report button, to let a moderator know about it. Some examples of stickies would be the Collaboration Directory or the Helpful topics for Questions about Scratch stickies. In forums where there are too many stickies, the ITopic system is used, but some forums use both systems.

YouTube Videos

Main article: Scratch YouTube Video Player

Any YouTube video linked to on the forums will open the video in a Scratch YouTube viewer hosted in the Scratch Discussion Forums. The player uses the YouTube embed instead of linking to YouTube directly. This will hide comments, likes, the title, and description, and suggested videos on that YouTube video. However, the player does not function with YouTube Shorts links as they did not exist prior to the creation of the forums.

Note However: YouTube Shorts can still be viewed in the player with their original YouTube video link.[citation needed]

Technical Information

The Scratch Forums are currently based on DjangoBB, a forum framework based on PunBB in Python.

In the old forums, the forum software used was FluxBB, written in PHP.

Scratch 1.4 Forums

Archive.png This article or section documents something not included in the current version of Scratch (3.0). It is only useful from a historical perspective.
Main article: Discussion Forums (1.4)

With the release of Scratch 2.0, the forums were started fresh. The old forums were archived and can be seen here. The current forums contain posts made during the alpha and beta phases of 2.0.

Downtimes

The page that appears when the forum returns a 503 error.

November 2023 Downtime and Update

Main article: 2023 Forum Update

From November 23, 2023 onwards, the discussion forums were down and returned a 503 error when a user visited the forums. The downtime continued until November 30, when the forums were available to the public again. However, the mobile version of the forums was removed, and a new filtering system was put in place.[16] Additionally, a restriction was added that made users who's accounts were less than 5 days old and with no site activity not able to participate in the forums.[citation needed]

December 2023 - January 2024 Downtime

From December 27, 2023 onwards, the discussion forums were down and returned a 503 error when a user visited the forums. This continued to January 1, 2024, when they were available to the public again. The discussion forums were down because the forums are affecting the performance on the main website. [17]

See Also

References

  1. topic:269283
  2. topic:269283
  3. topic:245
  4. https://github.com/scratchfoundation/s2forums/blob/5296e5c/djangobb_forum/static/djangobb_forum/themes/base.css#L246-L248
  5. ar-topic:64276
  6. ar-topic:69113
  7. https://github.com/LLK/s2forums/blob/master/djangobb_forum/scratchr2_settings.py#L27
  8. Paddle2See. (1/12/2023). "I believe they were removed for security reasons - engineering made that call." projects:716689550/#comments-370111767
  9. post:5106356
  10. clearlywalsh. (13/12/2013). "I think it would be nice if under your username it showed the total number of posts you had posted, not just 100+, 500+, and 1000+." (topic:22930)
  11. MathlyCat. (10/2/2016). "It puts almost a ranking system that Scratch doesn't want." (topic:182858)
  12. MegaApuTurkUltra. (27/10/2015). "It's so that newer Scratchers aren't alienated when they see experienced users with enormous amounts of posts." (post:1557568)
  13. NoxSpooth. (13/12/2013). "The post count is like this to prevent competition between Scratchers and/or bragging." (post:206036)
  14. cheddargirl "Mods have the ability to comment on closed topics. This way, a topic can be closed to prevent further spam while the mod types up a closing remark. " projects:427527093/#comments-198612724
  15. https://github.com/LLK/s2forums/blob/master/djangobb_forum/views.py#L1048
  16. medians. (11/30/23). "The Scratch Team added the mainsite filter to the forums (though the old filter seems to still be there), and the mobile forums were removed." post:7668504
  17. Paddle2See. (29/12/2023). "Apparently there is some kind of glitch where the forums are dragging down performance on the rest of the site. So the forums are off while Engineering works to figure out why that is happening." projects:716689550/#comments-375212889
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