Copying Blocks Between AI2 Projects (Among Other Things): Part 2

Scope

This discussion follows on from Part 1. Read that post to get up to speed.

Audience

Aimed at the same audience as for Part 1. Read that post etc., etc.

Caution

I think this caution is worth repeating (just in case you decide to skip reading Part 1).

It should go without saying that any changes that are made to an AI2 project using methods that are not provided by the tools available must be done with extreme care, with the understanding that the results could be a mess. So make sure there are backups – and backups of backups – and check, double-check and triple-check any work before submitting the results to AI2 using the feature to import .aia files. Continue reading

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Copying Blocks Between AI2 Projects (Among Other Things): Part 1

Scope

This discussion covers multiple unmet needs with regard to programming using App Inventor 2 (AI2).

One is the need to copy blocks between current AI2 projects – a Copy & Paste facility would be great – something that these days (IMHO) should be a basic editing function. In Development there are always competing priorities and this feature seems to have lost out for years, going back to App Inventor under Google and perhaps before that.

Another need is to copy blocks from external AI2-compatible repositories or other resources and insert them into your own project(s). There doesn’t even seem to be a “merge” facility to allow useful external code blocks to be incorporated into an existing project.

Yet another is the need to bring blocks from non-AI2 sources – the original App Inventor, perhaps, or Blockly, or the Block Factory, or whatever. This is a more complex issue since there is a compatibility problem with blocks from App Inventor and App Inventor 2.

And then there’s the issue of copying/pasting screens from one project to another, or even within the same project (which you might want to do as a template, which you would then modify accordingly. Saves lots of reinventing the wheel).

Audience

It’s hard to define the precise characteristics of the audience for this discussion. Certainly a fair amount of experience in a variety of software technologies would be a distinct advantage. Some understanding of XML would be useful. The ability to recognize a likely .zip file header would come in handy. A tendency to be risk-averse would be preferable.

Age/gender is/are irrelevant. Curiosity knows no bounds.

Caution

It should go without saying that any changes that are made to an AI2 project using methods that are not provided by the tools available must be done with extreme care, with the understanding that the results could be a mess.

So make sure there are backups – and backups of backups – and check, double-check and triple-check any work before submitting the results to AI2 using the feature to import .aia files. Continue reading

Posted in android programming, copying blocks between projects, copying blocks between screens, examining .aia files, XML-related | Leave a comment