Bug hunting can be like 'Where's Wally?'

First you find a bug & then you de-bug.

It’s that simple isn’t it?

blippitcode

All software applications have bugs – some cause no real problems and go unnoticed, others are minor and a minority wreak havoc.  You might be surprised to hear that software providers LOVE hearing about possible bugs via bug reports.  They love it even more if the steps that lead up to the strange behaviour  can be replicated by their Application Development Team because this means the bug is real and can be fixed.

Blippit Code
Real code from the Blippit IO Application that runs on a user’s desktop

Without the help of users (essentially many hands and eyes) application developers can’t hope to capture every bug for debugging try as they might.

In the classroom it’s a fantastic exercise to give students a simple program with a bug or two it.  This way they really REALLY have to

  • be systematic in their approach – record steps taken etc
  • be tightly focused on isolating the area where the bug is likely to be
  • be able to step through the programme in it’s component parts or sections
  • develop an understanding of how the larger whole can be viewed in chunks

Here at Blippit we were able to find and de-bug a FANTASTIC bug in quick fashion this month thanks to two schools who took the time to file a bug report (they told us about it basically) to support@blippit.co.uk .  This lead to more detailed info gathering, a school visit from us and finally within a week and a half a global update of Blippit IO.  They helped us improve Blippit IO in a measurable way for the thousands of students and teachers who are using Blippit IO across the UK, Australia and US.

If you’re a lovely Blippit IO User, we are going to make it nice and easy for you to report anything that feels like a bug to you soon.  More about that to follow.

Blippit Code
Real code from the Blippit IO Application that runs on a user’s desktop
So…the moral of this story is, if it’s safe and legal to do so, always tell the people who wrote the code if you find what you think might be a bug in their app.  They’ll never be offended, they’ll always be grateful and the rest of the community using that app will put you on their cool list.

What more could anyone want?

Blippit IO 2016 Blippit Blocks: Live & Free 5/1/16

Blippit Blocks has been added to Blippit IO.  It’ll be available for all schools to use from @5pm (GMT) 5/1/16

Blippit Blocks…
  • is a block-based visual programming tool for Key Stage 2-3 Computing.
  • promotes computational thinking opportunities
  • is great for developing debugging skills
  • is designed so that student/teacher project sharing, creation & playback are really simple & open
  • has accessibility built in with the option of a higher contrast/larger text Code Theme
  • has whole class big screen accessibility built in with the option of super-zoom
  • is touch-responsive so can be used in the browser on an iPad
  • has Python, not Javascript, under the hood when you want to see what the Blocks are really doing
  • sends it’s code seamlessly to Blippit IO’s PureCode Python tool for keen coders to develop further in text

Write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts use sequence and repetition in programs.

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Sharing

Teachers can share projects with students as a Blippit IO Template Project for debugging, extension and development.  We’ve also added a special button that appears in Blippit Blocks Projects so you can export your Blocks code into Blippit IO PureCode Python for more advanced text-based coding development, if needed, using the popular Python language.

Thanks to all our fabulous school users for your ongoing feedback, support and interest in Blippit IO – we really do appreciate it!