Installing Scratch on OpenSUSE
Scratch is a developer application with the young in mind it is a programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art — and share your creations on the web. As young people create and share Scratch projects, they learn important mathematical and computational ideas and concepts, learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively.
In this article we will explain how to install “Scratch” on OpenSUSE (rpm package based systems).
“Scratch” is available to many operating systems Mac and Windows included, it is an example of cross platform development. For the purpose of this article we will assume that you wish to install the Scratch application onto OpenSUSE. If you visit the following site however you will detailed instructions to install Scratch onto almost any current Operating System.
To install Scratch for the first time you will need to visit the Website which is the home to the Scratch application and that of its download area. The link below is to the download page. Under the heading “Scratch Installer for Ubuntu” there is a further link
Scratch on Linux
This provides some additional information about installing scratch on Linux. this where you will find the download for the rpm package. This can be downloaded and installed in the usual way.
In it’s current format and at the time of writing this article “Scratch” is in it’s stable Version number “1.4”. In the main there are some three different installation options available for the Mac, Windows and of course Linux.
Install problems with the RPM package
At the time of writing there is a problem with the sound which appears to be confined to the RPM version of Scratch. Don’t worry it can be easily fixed. If when you install Scratch the sound is not working , then you need to locate the scratch file in the /usr/bin directory.
Note: To carry out the following changes you need to logged in as a superuser.
Before making any changes you may want to make a copy of the scratch file. The file itself is not very big, and can be opened with your favourite text editor. (e.g. gedit). Find the line
if -n pulseaudiio -- check 2>/dev/null : then SCRATCH_SND_PLUGIN=vm-sound-pulse fi
Change this line to
if [ -x $PULSEAUDIO ] ; then SCRATCH_SND_PLUGIN=vm-sound-pulse fi
Save the changes and hopefully your sound will now work.
Once installed open a terminal and type scratch from the command line. This will open the Scratch window. If your new to Scratch we suggest you look and install some of the suggested examples available when you open an existing project, just select the example button on the left. We also recommend you visit a site called “learnscratch.org“. From here, is a rich variety of tutorials designed to test and expand on what’s possible for programming available for the age range from 6-8 and beyond. This in my view opens doors to the older pupils helping the younger children achieve there design and programming goals in a respectful, helpful and collaborative way.
For teachers, from the home page you will also find lesson plans on this site under resources. The lessons themselves are divided into 3 modules, each module consisting of a number of units. These units are broken down into lessons, accompanied by a video tutorial. You can also download the projects associated with each lesson which can then be imported into scratch
On all the various scratch related sites, including the main scratch site itself, many of the examples are aimed at the 6 – 10 years. Don’t be put of by this. The later examples on LearnScratch site covers much more serious stuff and give a much better indication of what this language is capable of. I recommend you take a look at the full range of examples on this site, before making your mind up about whether it is a suitable learning aid for programming.