Google Blockly Winners, Losers

First and foremost, lets consider the winners from our last Google Blockly posting … err the  Google Blockly Maze Problem Winners – Jon Henson and Uncle Bear.

Google Info and Analysis
Jon’s Solution does not use  Wall to Right or Wall to Left tests

Google Info and Analysis
UncleBear’s Solution

Its hard to say who got the Maze finished first – I should have insisted on a screenshot of the solution . So splitting the difference, the $50 prizes will be wending their way to the winners as soon as I get their address info. Congratulations for some nifty work.

Two Observations

First, ye Editor did not do the proper research on what was available in the Blockly  programming code. I just assumed the only test was for Wall  Ahead. This is one of the deadly sins in programming – not knowing the full set of commands and features at your disposal. Mea culpa [though in some cases like the Windows API or the Oracle command set, “know all that is available” is close to a hopeless or endlessly updating task]. Second,  my own obsession with having a stopping condition was in this case a false concern. Mea maxima culpa.

Second, note how different some of the commands are in Maze Blockly as opposed to Demo Blockly. This speaks of the power behind  the Blockly Javascript coding. It can be configured to output a)not just a subset of code blocks but also b)some customized blocks like Wall Ahead and others that are geared to a very particular problem set.  This indicaes Blockly has some very fine capabilities so checking out the Source may be well worth the while. Clearly Google has a winner hear on its hands a) if its  declared futures come to pass and b)if  JavaScript itself does not ship wreck on proprietary versions as  HTML5 appears inclined to do.

And the solution of Blockly’s  JavaScript generating JavaScript, Dart, Python and other languages reminds one of the Java GWT to JavaScript that powers+ a lot of Google Android UI coding. Finally, I ran across the following article on the abandonment of .NET and Windows. The conjecture in the article is that Redmond is so freaked out about missing the mobile revolution that they are throwing out the baby [Windows] and the bathwater [.NET]. What is most interesting is that Microsoft is now committed to JavaScript+HTML5. There are some that argue that the speed improvements in JavaScript have come from only a few of the Java Hotspot methods and there is huge room for improvement. Also this is the second major software vendor that has turned towards JavaScript and HTML5 for the future. Adobe set aside Flash in favor of HTML5+JavaScript  too.

In sum, the emergence of Blockly tells a lot about directions at the major software vendors. As software development code goes deep secret in imitation of Apple, developers need to keep their eyes open to the various surfacings among the leading software developers. Blockly appears to be one such apparition.