The New Joy of Code – 01: Introduction

Finally it is here: The first of the New Joy of Code programming series.

In this series of videos I will show you how to program in Greenfoot and Stride. Later in the series, we will also get to programming in Java. But ultimately, what you will learn are the principles of object-oriented programming, which you should then be able to apply to any language.

This first episode shows you what Greenfoot is, and what Stride looks like.

Download Greenfoot here.

Check back soon for more episodes.


The New Joy of Code – Coming Soon!

The most popular pages on this blog are the episodes of the ‘Joy Of Code’ video series, which teaches programming with Greenfoot. This video series, however, is somewhat outdated by now. So I have decided to update it and start again.

So, coming soon: The New Joy of Code. It will be similar to the old one, a series of short videos that can be used for self study, or in a classroom, but there will be differences: First, I will, of course, use a recent version of Greenfoot (Version 3.1.0 at the moment), but more importantly: I will use our new language Stride for the tutorial. We will later also transition into Java, but Stride is such a great language for beginning to program, that I really want to start with that.

With the videos – you’ll see!

Full paper on Frame-Based Editing out now

We (that is: Neil, Amjad and I) have worked on Stride and its frame-based editor for about four years now, and there is a lot of work in it.

First, Stride was designed and released as part of Greenfoot, and we wrote a few smaller papers about specific aspects of use cases around Stride. Then, more recently, we also incorporated Stride into BlueJ, making the new frame-based editor available to a much larger audience.

Frame editorIn parallel, we have worked on a comprehensive paper, describing the design ideas and rationale behind many of the detailed aspects. It also describes related work and background (which you might like to read in its own right if you are interested in the history of block-based systems or structure editing), and a few small user studies.

I’m glad it is out now; you can read it here:

Kölling, Brown & Altadmri: Frame-Based Editing

It has been published in a special edition of the Journal of Visual Languages and Sentient Systems (focussed on blocks programming). The rest of the special issue is very much worth reading as well – you can find it here.

I would like to thank all our reviewers who contributed many useful comments and suggestions, especially Jens Mönig and John Maloney, and the special editions editor Franklyn Turbak.

Greenfoot LIVE

In order to provide more ways to support teachers who are using Greenfoot (or thinking about using Greenfoot), as well as anyone else interested in Greenfoot, we are starting a series of live chat sessions:

Greenfoot Live
Programming Education Chat With The Greenfoot Team

Greenfoot Live will be a regular chat event where members of the Greenfoot team will be live online and talk about Greenfoot, among ourselves and with you – the users of Greenfoot. The event is aimed mostly at teachers who use Greenfoot in their classes, but also at general Greenfoot users.

We will discuss educational aspects, as well as general programming topics, related to Greenfoot.

You will have a chance to listen to us talk, as well as ask questions.

The first Greenfoot Live event will be held on

Monday, 8 May 2017, at 5pm UK time

That is

  • 5pm in the UK
  • 4pm GMT
  • 9am in San Francisco
  • 12noon in New York
  • 18:00 in Germany, Scandinavia, Italy, France, …
  • 2am in Sydney (sorry…)

You can join us here.

After this first event on 8 May, we will host Greenfoot Live every two weeks. Recordings of these events will be accessible afterwards for viewing retrospectively.

Don’t forget to mark this date in your diary with a big red pen and join us in a couple of weeks!

Move to King’s

[King's logo]Welcome at the new blog home!

As you can see from the new site, I have recently moved to King’s College London. I will partly have a similar role here as before – as Professor of Computer Science – and partly a new role at Vice Dean of Education in the Faculty.

Importantly (for this blog), our work on BlueJ, Greenfoot, Stride and all the related activities will continue as before. Most of my group – Neil, Davin and Amjad – have moved with me, and we have already put out a new release of BlueJ here from King’s.

So please bookmark this new address (if you are the bookmarking type), and check back later for more Greenfoot/BlueJ news.

Stride: With a little help from my editor

In the third part of our series introducing Stride and frame-based editing, we look at the various ways in which the editor can provide you with help in writing your program. If you consider using Stride, it will come handy to know these sources of information.

Stride is implemented in the Greenfoot environment, available from here.