Josh Goodman Scratch Journal
I found Scratch to be a fun and different way to program. I felt it was relatively easy to use, and enjoyed how quickly it is possible to create complex, graphical projects. Since I have some experience with coding, there were some features I missed or wished I could have used -- for example, I missed the ability to create classes of sprites or to control one sprite's properties directly from another sprite (without the intervening code steps). In terms of the functionality of the Scratch program itself, I think some kind of help system is definitely in order (does that question mark button do anything?), and I also thought the way the copy and paste function works is not entirely intuitive.
As far as recommendations for the developers of Scratch go, it would be great if they build in a feature that enables Scratch projects to compile to a stand-alone executable application form (or maybe create a Scratch player if that is necessary). Allowing Scratch programs to be deployed without the coding environment would really make the benefits of the power and simplicity available to the users.
I'm not convinced by this experience, however, that "code is law." The code instructions we used in Scratch seem distinct from law as we generally understand it in law school. There are certainly rules that must be followed in Scratch, and people created rules for their games, but I don't see too many similarities between these rules and the type of rules that are given force by society in the legal system. Most signficantly, I think law as we usually understand is a social phenomenon -- a set of rights and obligations we have with respect to other members of society -- while the social element seems lacking here. We are aware of and follow many different rules in going about our daily lives -- but we don't refer to all of them as laws, and I'm not sure that there is much to be gained analytically by conceptualizing computer code as a type of "law." The rules people created for the players of their games don't seem to be any more or less "laws" to me than the rules of a board game.
- nesson here: ah, the problem of having to kill oneself to succeed.