Scratch Forums (1.4)

This article or section documents an outdated version of Scratch (version 1.4). For this article in the current version, see Scratch Forums (2.0).
A picture of the Scratch Forums in 1.4.
The Scratch Forums were a part of the Scratch Website where Scratchers could show others their projects, ask for help, suggest ideas for the Scratch program or website, and more. From any Scratch webpage, the forums could be reached by clicking "forums" on the top menu-bar, between "support" and "about".

During the transition to Scratch 2.0, these forums were archived, and new ones (renamed Discuss) took their place. Users can no longer log in to the old forums, but old topics can still be viewed here.

Menu Bar

The menu bar for the forums was below the words "Scratch Forums", under the Scratch logo and had the following options:

  • Forums Home: This let a user quickly access the forum index.
  • Profile: This let a user change settings for how the forums worked for them; this included settings such as showing smileys as text or images, creating a forum signature, and more.
  • Search: This let a user search for any keyword or user in the forums, with multiple choices to narrow down the search.

Forum Categories

There were many forum categories. They were grouped as "Welcome", "Making Scratch Projects", "About Scratch", "Interests Beyond Scratch", and "Scratch in Other Languages". A list of all past forums can be found here.

Welcome

The Welcome category had the following two forums:

  • Announcements: "Updates from the Scratch Team." Only the Scratch Team and moderators could post new topics here. Whenever there was a major update to the website, they would post about it for everyone to know - these updates could consist of new versions of Scratch, website changes, downtime, or a survey.
  • 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 was where to ask simple questions or greet new members.

Making Scratch Projects

  • Help with Scripts: "Need help with your Scratch project? Ask here!"
  • Project Ideas: "A place to give and get help thinking of project ideas." This forum was generally used for helping others and asking others for ideas on Scratch projects, as well as discussing projects that were being made.
  • Collaboration: "Join with others to work together on Scratch projects!" This forum was generally used for talking about different organizations, collaborations, and companies Scratchers had made to create projects together.
  • Requests: "Looking for something? Want to offer your skills to others?" This forum was generally used for requesting art for games and the website, as well as programming help.
  • Show and Tell: "Tell everyone about your projects and galleries." Filled with advertisements, this was where to advertise projects and galleries, or check out other users' advertisements.

About Scratch

  • Questions About Scratch: "Post general questions about Scratch or the Scratch website here." This was where to ask normal questions about Scratch. Those questions asked for programming help, questions on past versions of Scratch; anything about Scratch could be posted here, not just questions.
  • Suggestions: "Discuss ideas for the next version of Scratch, or improvements to the website." Most Scratchers had an idea they would like, and this was where to share it. However, Scratch Team member Lightnin posted a stickied topic explaining how to make more helpful suggestions.
  • Bugs and Glitches: "Found a bug in Scratch or the Scratch website? Post here."Nothing is perfectly free from bugs, so a way to find them was necessary. This was where to discuss problems, and possibly find a reason why it is occurring.
  • Connecting to the Physical World: "Topics related to Pico Boards, LEGO WeDo (tm), and connecting Scratch projects to the physical world." This forum was for discussing Sensor Boards and PicoBoards, and almost anything involving them. This forum was rather inactive, due to the small amount of users who had a PicoBoard.
  • Advanced Topics: "Talk about technical aspects, advanced features, or Scratch Mods here." This forum was where technical parts of Scratch were discussed, such as editing the System Browser or the Shift-Click-R feature. Scratch Modifications and Build Your Own Blocks discussions were very common here.
  • FAQ: "Frequently Asked Questions" When a question was asked continuously for some time, a topic answering the question would either be posted here or moved here. Only Scratch Team members and moderators could post new topics.

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 allowed Scratchers to discuss any project that they were working on, even if it was not related to Scratch.
  • Things I’m Reading and Playing: "Discuss books, TV, movies, art, music, or videogames that inspire you." A relaxing forum that was enjoyed by most Scratchers, many subjects were discussed here except from TBGs.

Scratch in Other Languages

Main article: Language Forums

Because Scratch is used all around the world, there were forums for other languages. The languages were:

  • German
  • Spanish
  • French
  • Chinese
  • Polish
  • Japanese
  • Netherlands
  • Portuguese
  • Italian
  • Hebrew
  • Korean
  • Norwegian
  • Turkish
  • Greek
Warning Note: Messages in the wrong language may be moved or deleted.

There were two other forums for other purposes:

  • Translating Scratch: "Come here to discuss translation of the Scratch interface, website, and resources materials. Please discuss in English if possible, so we can better help you with translations." This was where to discuss translations; for example, a mistaken translation should have been pointed out here.
  • Other Languages: "Use this forum if your language is not yet listed. After a language gets certain support it will get upgraded to a forum of its own." If a user's language did not have its own forum, the user was advised to post here.

Archived

Main article: Archived Forums

Before they were hidden on November 10, 2010, the Archived forums also appeared on the forum index. They were forums that had been closed to posts, but were still available for viewing.

  • Inspiration and More: "This forum has been replaced by the forums in the "Inspiration and more" category above." This forum was spread out into more forums that are in the section "Inspiration and More".
  • Scratch Day 2009: "Ask questions and share ideas about Scratch Day." This forum topic was used to talk about Scratch Day 2009 and what the people would be doing in different places.
  • Scratch @ MIT Conference 2008: "Talk about the conference." This forum topic was used to talk about the Scratch Conference at MIT and what the people would do and show there. As this was long since over, this forum was closed.
  • Text-based games: "Also known as Forum Games. This is an experimental category intended to contain this kind of threads to a particular section." This forum category was for text-based games. There became a new forum for them, which is found here.
  • Educators: "Discuss how you're using Scratch in education. Closed to new posts and moving to scratched.media.mit.edu" Here, educators (such as teachers and organizers from schools and organizations) could talk about Scratch, and how they used it in class, or for other uses and resources for teaching Scratch. This forum has been closed; a new website called ScratchEd has been created for it.
  • Collab Challenge 2011: "Collaboration Challenge 2011". This was a forum for discussing the Collab Challenge 2011.
  • Collab Camp 2011: "Collab Camp 2011". This was a forum for discussing the Collab Camp 2011.
  • Miscellaneous: "Use this forum if you are not certain if the topic is directly related to Scratch." This forum was used for users to talk about non-Scratch related topics, such as video games, recent events, discussions/polls, and more. It was eventually closed and replaced with Things I'm Making and Creating and Things I’m Reading and Playing due to the forum becoming increasingly hard to moderate.

Profile

While on the forums, users could also click "Profile" on the menubar to access options about viewing the forums. At the end of the list of each category, users could click "Submit" to save the changes they had made.

Essentials

Within the Essentials category (which could be found on the left above "Personality"), there were the following general settings:

  • Time-zone: A user could enter his or her timezone here, making the time shown of when forum topics were made more accurate. However, it became broken - and was not fixed. Then-Scratch Team member andresmh suggested thinking of it as "Scratch Time".

Personality

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

Within the Personality category (which could be found on the left below "Essentials" and above "Display"), a user could change his or her signature. A Forum Signature is a short piece of text and/or images that is located under a user's forum post. It was limited to only 2 lines and 400 characters. Signatures could be no more than 150 pixels tall. If it was a little over, it would be cut off.[1] Previously, signatures were allowed after 15 days of posting, but the rule was changed, and then only those with Scratcher status could have signatures.

Uses

The forum signature could have any type of text or pictures in it, providing that it was appropriate for the community, and any links were non-commercial. Examples of what could be put in a signature include:

  • Advertisement for projects
  • A favorite quote
  • Information about the user
  • A drawing by the user

The number of creative ways signatures have been used is amazing. Scratchers have programmed APIs in PHP to display special images which change automatically based on online information. So 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.[2] Similarly, Scratchers have created custom Scratch blocks whose text is their username, or the name of a project.

Display

Within the Display category (which could be found on the left below "Personality" and above "Privacy"), there were the following settings:

  • Viewing posts: A user could change the following options to make a page load faster (yes or no):
    • Show smileys as graphical icons.
    • Show user signatures.
    • Show images in user signatures.
    • Show images on posts.
  • Pagination: A user could change how many topics or posts to see per page.

Privacy

Within the Privacy category (which could be found on the left below "Display" and above "Email Digests"), there were the following settings:

  • E-mail address: A user could decide whether to show his/her e-mail address, and if not, whether to allow form e-mail or not.
  • Automatic Login: A user could decide whether the website should automatically login the user between visits (from the current IP address)
  • E-mail posts: A user could decide whether to allow a plain text version of the new post in the subscription e-mail.

Email Digests

Within the Email Digests category (which could be found on the left below "Privacy"), there were the following settings:

  • Type of Digest: A user could decide how often a digest should be emailed (None (unsubscribe), Daily, or Weekly (on Sunday)).
  • Digest Options: A user could decide how a digest should be (the following yes or no), display excerpt of each message, include my messages in the digest, include only the messages since my last visit, and sent the digest, even if it will be empty.
  • Digest Length: A user could decide how long the excerpt from each message should be: 50 characters, 150 characters, 300 characters, 600 characters, or whole message.
  • Forum Summaries: A user could decide which forums to get summaries from.

Despite countless requests to do so, email digests were never functional.

Searching

On the menu bar, the middle choice was "Search". Here a user could type in keywords and adjust settings to find the topic/post the user wanted.

  • Keyword/Author: The first and main choice to find the topic a user wanted was to search by keyword(s) or author.
  • Forum-category: Users could narrow their search down by choosing a certain forum category to look in, and/or to choose to search in the topic, or the message, or both.
  • Viewing search results: The last choice a user had to narrow their search down was to choose how to view his/her results. The user could choose how to sort it by, the sort order, and to search for posts or topics.

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 principal as, and is very similar to, HTML. Information on most of the BBCode can be seen on Scratch Forums / Help, which can be gotten to by clicking on the link below the posting area. BBCode can used for things such as colored text, underlined text, pictures, and links. However, pictures were disabled due to a trolling attack. As a result, a browser extension called Antidote was created to re-enable the image tags, and added support for embedding YouTube videos and Scratch projects.

Sticky

A sticky is a topic that is "stickied" at the top of its forum. Moderators and Scratch Team could sticky a thread. In forums where there where too many stickies, the ITopic system was used. Some forums used both.

Stickies were used to have important topics readily available.

Technical Information

The 1.4 Scratch Forums were based on the FluxBB framework, a remix of PunBB, a free open-source forum software written in PHP.

See Also

References

  1. https://scratcharchive.asun.co/forums/viewtopic.php?id=64276
  2. https://scratcharchive.asun.co/forums/viewtopic.php?id=69113
  • This page was last modified on 24 July 2017, at 00:53.