ModderDojo Topic 4: Moving from Scratch to JavaScript

GeneralFeaturesOfProgrammingLanguages

Note: some individual topics are short: we got most of the way through the first 3 in our taster session. See this post: https://cdathenry.wordpress.com/2015/09/27/minecraft-modding-taster-session-week-1/

JavaScript is a well-established programming language, mainly used in web development. ScriptCraft is a Minecraft mod that allows you to write JavaScript code for building structures in Minecraft and writing new Minecraft mods. (So it’s a mod for creating other mods.)

Steps 1-3: Install ScriptCraft, Learn how to Connect to a Server, and Create a First Mod

We covered these steps in the first two weeks:

  1. Getting Started with ScriptCraft and JavaScript
  2. How to Connect to Each Other’s Servers
  3. Creating our First ScriptCraft Mods

To try out ScriptCraft, look back at the introductory posts here: https://cdathenry.wordpress.com/2015/09/27/minecraft-modding-taster-session-week-1/

Step 4: Comparing JavaScript to Scratch

Some people criticise Scratch as being “childish”, but I don’t agree. While it is designed so that even 8 year olds can use it, it is still has all of the key features of ‘adult’ programming languages, as listed in the image at the top of this post.

(Technically, any programming language with variables, decision and loops is Turing Complete.)

This means that, if you already know how to write a Scratch programs that use these features, you will be able to apply that knowledge to any other language, such as JavaScript. The syntax of JavaScript is different, but it uses the same computational thinking.

Variables-Operators

Loops

Decisions

Notes:

  • Even though they have basic ideas in common, every programming language has its own specific commands that relate to its purpose: Scratch is focused on 2D games and animations, while ScriptCraft is focused on operating inside Minecraft, and JavaScript generally is used for interactive websites.
  • the echo command that features in these slides is not a standard JavaScript command, it is just used in ScriptCraft to display things on your screen in Minecraft.  Everything else is standard JavaScript.

2 thoughts on “ModderDojo Topic 4: Moving from Scratch to JavaScript

  1. Pingback: ModderDojo Topic 5: Time to Get Constructive! | CoderDojo Athenry

  2. Pingback: ModderDojo Topic 7: Planning and Building a Complex Structure Mod in Minecraft | CoderDojo Athenry

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