Set up the Programming Interface

Difficulty
Easy
Steps
9

This guide steps through how to set up the BBC Micro:Bit programming interface and how to add on packages to go with kits such as groove.

The two program interfaces currently available are the 'Blocks' interface and the 'Javascript' interface. These two interact with each other seamlessly.

Parts Used in This Guide

BBC micro:bit
LB-00181

Buy

Step 1  Go to the makecode.microbit.org website.

Step 2  The two interfaces.

  • The micro:bit coding interface has two options; the 'Blocks' interface and a 'Javascript' interface.
  • These interfaces are intended to enable one to learn coding easily by being able to transfer from blocks to javascript.

Step 3  Blocks interface - Intro.

  • The blocks interface is a visual programming interface; where 'blocks' 'snap' into place to form functions and commands
  • This type of interface is aimed at beginners to aid them in the beginning of their programming journey and help one understand how computer commands and functions work.

Step 4  Blocks interface - Pannel layout.

  • As a blank project is opened, down the side is the location of all the 'blocks' separated in their categories; With a BBC micro simulator next to this.
  • In the centre is the panel building space. This is where the blocks get placed and the programming happens!

Step 5  Blocks interface - Adding an 'add on' package.

  • Add on packages are used to extend the functionality of the bbc:micro.
  • To add a package, you must first click on the settings button in the top right (the little cog);
  • Next select 'Add package...';
  • And now you can search for the package you need, for the groove kit, the package required is the 'grove zero' package

Step 6  Blocks interface - Programming.

  • To program using the block interface, an 'on start' or a 'forever' loop is required which allows the . Anything in this loop runs forever.
  • To program, a simple click, drag and drop maneuverer is employed; this can be done with any of the 'blocks'.

Step 7  JavaScript interface - Intro.

  • To access the JavaScript programming interface, click on the 'JavaScript' button in the top centre.
  • This will open the interface where any initial blocks become text.
  • The add on packages still apply here

Step 8  JavaScript interface - Programming.

  • This programming language is java script and goes beyond the scope of this guide; the categories on the side apply the text equivalent of the 'blocks'
  • This format is used mostly for precise tweaking or learning javascript.

Step 9  Adding a program to the micro:bit.

  • First off, click the download button in the bottom left corner of the screen.
    • This will download a hex file (computer program file)  which the micro:bit can read.
  • Next, plug in your micro:bit, this will reveal a USB on your computer.
  • Lastly copy across the downloaded file to the micro:bit, once done, unplug the micro:bit.