Google Blockly Summit 2019 Recap

Oct 15, 2019 evan's Blog

Last week I attended the Google Blockly Summit 2019. For those of you who might not know what Blockly is, it is the JavaScript library that powers MIT App Inventor’s blocks editor (also Scratch, Microsoft MakeCode, and many more). The summit was a two day event at Google’s Mountain View campus with a whole slew of speakers from the blocks programming world. I gave two talks at the summit, one focused on how we’ve worked to improve rendering performance of the blocks workspace in MIT App Inventor and another on our work to support realtime collaboration on projects by multiple developers.

Some talks that I found particularly interesting were Beka Westberg’s talk on custom fields, Mark Gibson’s talk on advanced typechecking for block connections, Mark Friedman’s talk on asynchronicity and the challenge of a delay block, and the MakeCode team’s talks on block design and debugging.

There are a lot of new features coming to Blockly, and we’re looking forward to being able to incorporate them into a future version of App Inventor.

Blockly Summit 2019 attendees
Above: A picture of some of the Blockly Summit 2019 attendee’s outside the meeting room at Google’s Mountain View campus.

I also picked up an Android at the Google Store, which is now on display in the App Inventor offices:

Android robot assembled from blocks
Above: A model of the Google Android built from blocks.

This post will be updated with links to the recorded presentations once they are available.