Blockly is the successor to Google’s App Inventor, itself inspired by MIT’s Scratch. It is a visual block programming editor that acts as a library for adding drag-and-drop block coding to an app. The name Blockly is based on its user interface which resembles a child’s toy box, consisting of multi-shaped, multi-colored blocks.
Development of Blockly began in the summer of 2011, and was introduced to the public at the May 2012 Maker Faire event in San Mateo, California. Blockly was developed for kids to learn at home or at school within the browser. Blockly is often compared to Scratch, though is much more open-ended and is generally more difficult to learn.
Google and MIT’s Scratch Team have recently collaborated on the development of a new generation of graphical programming blocks, called Scratch Blocks. Scratch Blocks combines Blockly technology with the Scratch team’s expertise in designing creative interfaces for young learners. It is beginner-friendly with an icon based UI and is designed specifically blockly programming for younger kids. Scratch 3.0, the most recent release, was rewritten as a fork of Blockley.