Feel like saying hello? Introduce yourself in a reply below!
The A(dvanced) T(opic)s are, in a way, the place where you go once you outgrow plain old Scratching. At the ATs, we take Scratch to its limits. Most threads here consist of someone either asking a question or showing off some piece of awesomeness, and then dozens of really smart people tripping over each other to help out with comments (and general oohs and aahs). It's pretty satisfying.
We mainly discuss extensions to Scratch, mainly programs written in other languages that enhance Scratch (think custom forum skins and bots to post to the forums automatically). A lot of it is just coming up with a crazy idea and making it happen. That's a great way to learn; just do it.
There are a few fiendishly hard and therefore undeniably delicious math questions. If you need help with concepts like trigonometry or vectors, feel free to ask on the forums. And sometimes people ask about computer science algorithms (and use big, scary words like lambda which make you look really smart). But one of the biggest topics is the idea of remixing Scratch to make something better—these are called Scratch Modifications (Mods in short).
There have been many, many mods on Scratch, the main ones being BYOB (which introduced lambda), Panther (which can create and read files on your computer and connect to the internet), and Bingo (which can share automatically to a different website, Mod Share). They add customized blocks (at one point a user created a library with over a hundred of these), awesome features, and great new ideas to enhance Scratch.
Don't be afraid to ask questions! Nobody judges you based on what you ask, and no question is too basic. Everyone was a newbie once. But don't just ask questions, answer them, too! The ATs work because all the active users are really friendly people who will devote half an hour to write a large article to explain something to you. But return the favor to keep things going – share your knowledge. I cannot begin to imagine how to express how monumentally important this is.
The ATs are a lot of fun. If you love to make cool stuff and hack together fun stuff, you've come to the right place. Be polite, be humble, but have fun: jokes are both accepted and appreciated.
Some frequently asked questions on the ATs. Comment below if you want to add an FAQ!
What should I post here? What shouldn't I post here?
If you need help about a project, help with advanced math or physics, or help with computer science or programming languages, you can post your question here. If you want to show off a project you've been working on that is related to Scratch (Scratch mods, etc.), you can post here; but if it is completely unrelated to Scratch (maybe you programmed your own blog or a custom screensaver) post it in Things I'm Making and Creating. Ask about general programming on Stack Overflow, another programming site.
How do I get started making a Scratch Modification?
You will have to learn Squeak, another programming language. Then download the Scratch 1.4 source code and hack away!
How do I share code?
You can host websites on Google App Engine/Heroku/Github Pages, but static HTML pages can be hosted on Google Drive directly.
Can I make Scratch 2.0 mods yet?
Yes! Since the 2.0 source has been released (https://github.com/LLK/scratch-flash), you can edit, compile, and run it on your own. See this tutorial for more.
What's a cache and how do I clear it?
A cache is a feature in your browser that saves webpages to a file so you don't have to load all the content over and over. SInce Scratch 2.0 gets lots of updates these days, you might not see these changes and instead see a cached copy of the site. This is why it is important to clear your cache. This site gives step-by-step instructions for many browsers.
My question isn't listed here. What should I do?
Ask it in a reply to this post! I'll get back to you ASAP.
General news as well as updates about some specific projects. Comment below if you want to add an update about your project!
May 13th, 2014 – The Flash Player is open-sourced.
May 22nd, 2013 – The scratchblocks2 plugin by blob8108 is running live on the Wiki! Congratulations, blob.
May 9th, 2013 – The ATs are released on Scratch 2.0!