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s_federici
Scratcher
500+ posts

WHAT IS THE OFFICIAL ANSWER BY THE SCRATCH TEAM? "Forever If" block: will it ever be back? And, if not, why?

Dear Scratch Team,
I found several discussions about the “Forever If” block having disappeared from the Control blocks:
But I couldn't find any official answer from the Scratch Team about the Forever If block. Will it ever be back? If not, why?

I think the “Forever If” block is a great tool to smoothly introduce to computer programming those students to whom computer science was not a primary interest (that is, an incredibly high number of students). By using Scratch and by using this block they can acquire all the necessary skills step-by-step without having to worry about I-will-never-remember-this problems (problems with which Scratch copes very well thanks to the under-your-eyes blocks palette). They don't want to remember which are the two blocks that build the “Forever If effect”. They don't want to remember which between the two blocks must be put inside (or under?) the other one. They simply want to think-and-build, not to remember which is the solution suggested by their teacher. And Scratch allows exacly this.

Some people think that the Forever If block is redundant. But this can't be a problem: Scratch loves redundancy. There are so many redundant Scratch blocks that having another one cannot be a problem.

Some people think that the Forever If block is vague. But I can state that my students would like to use just that block. And that their 1.4 projects works very well.

Some people said that the Forever If block doesn't work in 2.0. I can't say anything about this: every 1.4 project containing the Forever If block is automatically translated to Forever + If. I don't understand why the “Forever If” block shouldn't work in 2.0. It used to work very well in 1.4.

So, I would like to know from the Scratch Team what is the official reason why the block is gone in 2.0

Thanks for your attention
Sonickyle
Scratcher
1000+ posts

WHAT IS THE OFFICIAL ANSWER BY THE SCRATCH TEAM? "Forever If" block: will it ever be back? And, if not, why?

The main reason it was removed is because new Scratchers were getting confused about what it does. Some thought it was If <> then run Forever, while others thought it was for Forever, if <>.

I never used it, because:
  • I found it confusing too.
  • There is a workaround that makes much more sense.
forever

if <> then

end
end

No I don't make projects anymore. I left some time ago.
I only check the forums every now and then, but other than that consider me retired.

I have made 2950+ posts / contributed to 2238+ topics
s_federici
Scratcher
500+ posts

WHAT IS THE OFFICIAL ANSWER BY THE SCRATCH TEAM? "Forever If" block: will it ever be back? And, if not, why?

Sonickyle wrote:

The main reason it was removed is because new Scratchers were getting confused about what it does

If this is the reason, why not to reword it to “every time that”? O else? Just removing the block is a very drastic solution to me.

Anyway, I found opinions like this one around, but I would like to know if this is the official reason. And if the Scratch Team is still thinking about it.
Deerleg
Scratcher
1000+ posts

WHAT IS THE OFFICIAL ANSWER BY THE SCRATCH TEAM? "Forever If" block: will it ever be back? And, if not, why?

Well, the workaround is easy. Just use what Sonickyle mentioned.


jvvg
Scratcher
1000+ posts

WHAT IS THE OFFICIAL ANSWER BY THE SCRATCH TEAM? "Forever If" block: will it ever be back? And, if not, why?

See the Wiki article, where it says “Due to the block's simplicity to recreate, that it has less functionality than the replication (you cannot stack multiple If () blocks inside the Forever If () block), and that new Scratchers sometimes confuse it with the Repeat Until () block, there have been many campaigns to remove the block. Eventually in 2.0, the block was removed. The block had an advantage, though: it runs some milliseconds faster than its replication, so it could be used to combat extreme lag. ”

jvvg
Professional web developer who first learned programming in Scratch
Administrator and lead engineer on the Scratch Wiki
s_federici
Scratcher
500+ posts

WHAT IS THE OFFICIAL ANSWER BY THE SCRATCH TEAM? "Forever If" block: will it ever be back? And, if not, why?

jvvg wrote:

See the Wiki article

Unfortunately neither of the references to the “many campaigns to remove the block” is still working. So I won't be able to know in the end which were the real complains against this very useful block. I guess the only way will be re-adding it to my custom version of Scratch as soon as the source code of the offline editor will be available. Or passing to Snap after having re-added it to Snap (the killer policy against this poor block has unfortunately extended to Snap too, but I can understand it: Snap has different objectives than Scratch).

What is really weird is that there is in Scratch a very confusing block (at least to Italian Scratchers), that is the other loop, the “repeat until” loop, that is still there. Every way of translating it to Italian cannot make it clear if the block body will repeat when the condition is true or false. The only way would be translating it as “repeat and stop repeating when”. A very ugly way of expressing this loop…
davidkt
Scratcher
1000+ posts

WHAT IS THE OFFICIAL ANSWER BY THE SCRATCH TEAM? "Forever If" block: will it ever be back? And, if not, why?

Sonickyle wrote:

The main reason it was removed is because new Scratchers were getting confused about what it does. Some thought it was If <> then run Forever, while others thought it was for Forever, if <>.

I never used it, because:
  • I found it confusing too.
  • There is a workaround that makes much more sense.
forever

if <> then

end
end
+9999999999999999999999999
Exactly the same for me.

Remember when I looked like this? I still do.


Float, my Scratch 2.0 mod | My (somewhat under-construction) blog
Firedrake969
Scratcher
1000+ posts

WHAT IS THE OFFICIAL ANSWER BY THE SCRATCH TEAM? "Forever If" block: will it ever be back? And, if not, why?

Also, there are many things we'd like because it'd make Scratch a tiny bit easier, but they won't happen since they're so easy to reproduce. This is the case with the Forever If.

'17 rickoid

bf97b44a7fbd33db070f6ade2b7dc549
s_federici
Scratcher
500+ posts

WHAT IS THE OFFICIAL ANSWER BY THE SCRATCH TEAM? "Forever If" block: will it ever be back? And, if not, why?

Firedrake969 wrote:

This is the case with the Forever If.

No, I can't agree with this position of yours. There are things are not ADDED to Scratch, but the Forever If block was there, and it has been REMOVED. If it was there, there was a reason. I would like to know why the reason that put it there wasn't good enough to keep it.
Blaze349
Scratcher
1000+ posts

WHAT IS THE OFFICIAL ANSWER BY THE SCRATCH TEAM? "Forever If" block: will it ever be back? And, if not, why?

no as far as I can see
forever

if <> then

end
end
makes more sense than placing them together.
it is so easy just to do
forever

if <> then

endend
so what is the problem
s_federici
Scratcher
500+ posts

WHAT IS THE OFFICIAL ANSWER BY THE SCRATCH TEAM? "Forever If" block: will it ever be back? And, if not, why?

Blaze349 wrote:

so what is the problem

See http://scratch.mit.edu/discuss/topic/20438/?page=1#post-252213
firedrake969_test
Scratcher
500+ posts

WHAT IS THE OFFICIAL ANSWER BY THE SCRATCH TEAM? "Forever If" block: will it ever be back? And, if not, why?

s_federici wrote:

Firedrake969 wrote:

This is the case with the Forever If.

No, I can't agree with this position of yours. There are things are not ADDED to Scratch, but the Forever If block was there, and it has been REMOVED. If it was there, there was a reason. I would like to know why the reason that put it there wasn't good enough to keep it.
The workaround was extremely easy and it's not there in “real” programming. Yes, some other blocks aren't there in “real” programming, either. However, this one has, like said, a very simple workaround. Not to sound sarcastic or anything, but is there a real problem with dragging out one more block?

Alt account of Firedrake969.

Rocket II: A black and white bitmap space game!

I seek not fame, but education.

;
AonymousGuy
Scratcher
1000+ posts

WHAT IS THE OFFICIAL ANSWER BY THE SCRATCH TEAM? "Forever If" block: will it ever be back? And, if not, why?

s_federici wrote:

and it has been REMOVED.
Well technically it wasn't removed, it wasn't made in Flash in the first place. (Well maybe it was, but it was removed after all the protesting).
s_federici
Scratcher
500+ posts

WHAT IS THE OFFICIAL ANSWER BY THE SCRATCH TEAM? "Forever If" block: will it ever be back? And, if not, why?

AonymousGuy wrote:

s_federici wrote:

it was removed after all the protesting).

I'm in the Scratch world since 2007. I translated the language, the website, read and posted in the forums several thousands of times. I think that I should have known that Scratch 2.0 was going to loose its Forever If block. But I didn't. Where were all the protesting going on? I didn't hear of them. I think that on such basic questions, the whole community should be involved. Was this the case? Apparently not. And, if it wasn't, this was a mistake.
firedrake969_test
Scratcher
500+ posts

WHAT IS THE OFFICIAL ANSWER BY THE SCRATCH TEAM? "Forever If" block: will it ever be back? And, if not, why?

Sometimes, the ST just knows better

Anyways, Scratch 2.0 wasn't really confirmed until 2012 (if I remember correctly). If you checked the alpha (if you had access) or the beta, you would've noticed and given feedback. That's what the open beta was for. The whole community was involved, and they had the chance. There was no protesting that I can remember, so that should be a sign the community as a whole was OK. Two of your topics linked ask questions about the Forever If block, and one just asks for help with programming that happens to involve the Forever If. Those don't really count

Alt account of Firedrake969.

Rocket II: A black and white bitmap space game!

I seek not fame, but education.

;
s_federici
Scratcher
500+ posts

WHAT IS THE OFFICIAL ANSWER BY THE SCRATCH TEAM? "Forever If" block: will it ever be back? And, if not, why?

firedrake969_test wrote:

There was no protesting that I can remember, so that should be a sign the community as a whole was OK

I don't think so. Indeed I tested the beta too, and I didn't notice anything wrong. Why? Because everything worked as expected and all my old 1.4 projects where loaded without any advise that something had changed. I repeat: for such important questions, the community should be clearly and explicitely involved.

So, why not to ask the community now if they want the Forever If block out of Scratch 2.0?

Last edited by s_federici (Feb. 20, 2014 14:57:20)

firedrake969_test
Scratcher
500+ posts

WHAT IS THE OFFICIAL ANSWER BY THE SCRATCH TEAM? "Forever If" block: will it ever be back? And, if not, why?

Yes, you tested the beta and didn't notice anything was wrong. That was the time to report anything you thought should be changed.

Most of the people requesting the Forever If block returned are newer Scratchers, who wouldn't have had a chance to give input anyways. Like I said in my complete post, sometimes the ST just knows better Do you have any responses for the rest of my post above? I'd be glad to hear them.

Right now, the ST has much larger things on their plate, anyways.

Last edited by firedrake969_test (Feb. 20, 2014 15:02:12)


Alt account of Firedrake969.

Rocket II: A black and white bitmap space game!

I seek not fame, but education.

;
s_federici
Scratcher
500+ posts

WHAT IS THE OFFICIAL ANSWER BY THE SCRATCH TEAM? "Forever If" block: will it ever be back? And, if not, why?

firedrake969_test wrote:

Do you have any responses for the rest of my post above?

Sorry, which rest?

firedrake969_test wrote:

Right now, the ST has much larger things on their plate, anyways.

I suppose you are part of the Scratch Team, aren't you? Sorry I had just read “Scratcher” below your name (I thought that Scratch Team members all had the “Scratch Team” membership tag). So, this is the official position of the Scratch Team. If so, I can cope with this. Thanks anyway for taking your time to answer my post.
Firedrake969
Scratcher
1000+ posts

WHAT IS THE OFFICIAL ANSWER BY THE SCRATCH TEAM? "Forever If" block: will it ever be back? And, if not, why?

Oh, sorry, I'm not part of the ST I just meant that they're working on cloud lists and strings, which are probably highest on their priorities of adding stuff, not including bug fixes. http://scratchexp.media.mit.edu/projects/scratch2-editor/issues?sort=priority%3Adesc%2Ctracker%3Adesc%2Cid%3Adesc

I meant “rest” as in how I said the beta was the “feedback” portion of the development.

'17 rickoid

bf97b44a7fbd33db070f6ade2b7dc549
Blaze349
Scratcher
1000+ posts

WHAT IS THE OFFICIAL ANSWER BY THE SCRATCH TEAM? "Forever If" block: will it ever be back? And, if not, why?

even though I wasn't there at the time I know why the ST removed forever if
it is because it encourages bad laggy programming habits
a bit like
forever

if <key [ v] pressed?> then
do this
end
end

forever

if <key [ v] pressed?> then
do something
end
end
while you could do this
forever

if <key [ v] pressed?> then

end
if <key [ v] pressed?> then

end
end
the former is inefficient while the latter is not
forever if seems to do this the same thing as the former
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