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Fable JupyterLab Blockly Extension

27 Dec 2019 . Category . Comments #research #education-research #fsharp

A JupyterLab extension that adds a Blockly palette might be a good way to teach non-programmers data science!

I previously adapted the JupyterLab extension tutorial to Fable, which means that extension developers can now use F# instead of JavaScript or TypeScript to write extensions.

Today I got a new extension off the ground that creates a Blockly palette. Here’s a demo:

Little kids can use blocks languages. I gave the Harry Potter Coding Wand as Xmas gifts last year - the box says ages 4 and up!

The idea here is to let non-programmers ease into data science by making the programming part dead simple. That way they can focus on the important parts: conceptual understanding, proper application of methods, and correct interpretation.

Of course, Blockly right now only has basic/generic blocks, so an important next step is extending it with blocks for SciPy, pytorch, and other libraries.