makecode.microbit.org

Information about the MakeCode editor for the BBC micro:bit

Overview

Microsoft MakeCode for micro:bit is a free, open source platform for creating projects with the BBC micro:bit.

Connect colour-coded blocks that relate to hardware features and Computer Science fundamentals and switch between blocks, JavaScript and MakeCode Python views. A device simulator shows you what will happen on the physical device before you download your program.

Source

The source code for MakeCode for micro:bit target can be found at github.com/Microsoft/pxt-microbit

This target depends on several other repositories:

Compiler

MakeCode uses a built-in compiler to translate a project into a .hex file when you select Download.

This has the advantage of not requiring an internet connection in order to code the micro:bit. Once the browser editor at makecode.microbit.org loads, it is cached on your computer.

The MakeCode editors contain a copy of the micro:bit runtime the DAL/CODAL which the blocks and javascript APIs reference.

When you press Download the compiler converts the code into a machine readable hex file format.

When this .hex file is flashed onto the MICROBIT drive, the KL26/7 interface processor on the micro:bit copies it into the flash memory inside the nRF application processor and the code runs.

Other Features

MakeCode supports two-way conversion of code, so you can write code as blocks and see what the generated code looks like in Javascript/MakeCode Python. You can also write Javascript/MakeCode Python code, and if possible, MakeCode will convert this back into blocks automatically.

MakeCode also allows you to write your own block types and publish them as Extensions.

App

An app is available for Windows 10

Offline

An offline version of the MakeCode editor is available for use in situations where there is limited or no internet connectivity.

Documentation

Extension authoring

The editor has built in support for Github authoring. There is a written guide on Creating Extensions within the reference documentation and a video tutorial on YouTube

Tutorial authoring

Users can publish their own tutorials for simple, guided steps on using MakeCode. Tutorials also support third party extensions.

Community

There are a variety of ways to get involved and interact: