Adafruit Circuit Playground Express Editor v0.20.13

Posted on November 13, 2017 by pelikhan

We are very excited to remove the beta label from This update brings Scratch style rendering of the blocks, better support for assistive technologies, a console view, and many - many - many fixes.

Beta -> Stable

The editor is out of beta and is considered a stable release now. You shouldn’t expect to see any API or major UI changes going forward.

Scratch Blocks

In this release, we’ve re-vamped the look of our blocks which are now aligned with Scratch. We’ve based our open source Blockly fork (pxt-blockly) on scratch-blocks.

Editor demo

Assistive technologies and high contrast

Students who have a visual impairment can use screen readers, such as Narrator, for audible navigation and identification of visual elements. The JavaScript editor also offers additional features for assistive technologies.

High contrast mode helps low-vision students locate and distinguish the different visual elements in the MakeCode editor.

High contrast mode

Console Output

Use the new console blocks to log text or stream values to our new console output viewer. You can visualize data from the simulator or from the Circuit Playground Express itself using our Windows App.

Console output

A few API changes

With our move out of beta, we’ve simplified some of the APIs available for the Circuit Playground Express.

All your scripts should still work! We have automatic upgrade rules in place to avoid any kind of regression.

The APIs for the LED ring are in the light namespace instead of in the previous light.pixels namespace. The changes are rather subtle. One change you may notice though, is that the gearwheel in the light blocks is gone now. From the JavaScript side, you will see that light.pixels.showAnimation(...) automatically becomes light.showAnimation(...) and so on.

Here is the complete list of changes:

light.pixels.setAll --> light.setAll
light.pixels.graph --> light.graph
light.pixels.setPixelColor -> light.setPixelColor
light.pixels.pixelColor -> light.pixelColor
light.pixels.pixelColor -> light.pixelColor
light.pixels.setBrightness --> light.setBrightness
light.pixels.photonForward --> light.photonForward
light.pixels.photonFlip --> light.photonFlip
light.pixels.setPhotonColor --> light.setPhotonPenHue
light.pixels.setPhotonMode --> light.setPhotonMode
light.pixels.showAnimation --> light.showAnimation
light.pixels.showAnimationFrame --> light.showAnimation
light.pixels.clear --> light.clear
light.pixels.stopAllAnimations --> light.stopAllAnimations
light.createNeoPixelStrip --> light.createStrip
light.animation(LightAnimation.Rainbow) --> light.rainbowAnimation
light.animation(LightAnimation.RunningLights) --> light.runningLightsAnimation
light.animation(LightAnimation.Comet) --> light.cometAnimation
light.animation(LightAnimation.Sparkle) --> light.sparkleAnimation
light.animation(LightAnimation.TheaterChase) --> light.theaterChaseAnimation
light.animation(LightAnimation.ColorWipe) --> light.colorWipeAnimation

(Under the hood) New build system

The underlying C++ runtime is now built against the Lancaster University CODAL.