Size: (weeks of effort)
As a user of the coding environment, I can create custom blocks of reusable sequences.
The following pages in the Prototype Design show the Custom Blocks interface:
Description of changes and new functionality:
- The command palette has a new tab called "Custom Blocks", with contents:
- "Create A Block" button
- One block for each previously created custom block
- The "Create A Block" button opens an overlay with similar functionality to the block editor, enabling the user to create a sequence
- The custom block overlay includes:
- A text control for setting the block name
- Buttons to Save or Cancel the creation of the custom block
- Accessibility design
- What is the keyboard interaction for the Custom Block editor?
- What ARIA attributes do we need?
- How can one edit a Custom Block after it has been created?
- Vocabulary question:
- What is the Program plus Custom Commands called?
- A Project?
- If it's a "Program", what is the main sequence called?
- Redefinition of built-in commands
- It would be possible to create a Custom Block with a name the same as an existing built-in block, such as "forward"; options:
- Disallow it
- Allow it and treat them as 2 distinct things
- Allow it and have the new Custom Block replace the built-in one (Simon: this is powerful in the right programming contexts, but I don't think it's a good idea in our coding environment right now, without more supports to explain what is happening and how to manage it)
- How does having the same name as a built-in command interact with localization of the commands names, where they might have different names depending on the language?
- In the current design, where we cannot edit a Custom Command, recursion isn't possible (I think), but when we add editing, recursion becomes possible
- Simon: my thinking is that we terminate program execution on recursion as we have no conditionals in our language and all recursion is therefore infinite
- There could be potential designs where we block recursion at the editing stage
- Some examples of recursion:
- MyCustomBlock: MyCustomBlock (the block sequence contains itself)
- MuCustomBlock1: MyCustomBlock2, MyCustomBlock2: MyCustomBlock1 (mutual recursion where 2 blocks refer to each other)
- Interaction with other components
- In the current design, when the custom command window is open, preview window gets blocked by it and won't be able to see the preview window
- Not only for viewing purpose, but would be better if users can pre-run their custom command before saving them, which means interaction with preview window is required