September 2023 Online Global Developer Meetup

Hello open source contributors,

We'll be holding our next online global developer meetup on 2023-09-28T16:00:00Z2023-09-28T16:30:00Z via Zoom. The global developer meetups are an opportunity for people interested in App Inventor's development to hear about upcoming features and ask questions of our development team.

The agenda for this meeting is as follows:

  • nb194 release and the SDK 33 changes
  • Google Summer of Code wrap-up
  • The UI infrastructure change and next steps
  • Looking forward to nb195
  • Q&A

Evan W. Patton, Ph.D.
Lead Software Engineer, MIT App Inventor


Starting momentarily.

Hi all,

The recording from this meeting is now available on YouTube:


Thanks for posting the video.

In response to @Susan_Lane request for UI hate mail, the Designer's Component Pallette is still biased towards the first UI component pallette, forcing a downwards scroll to get to the next pallette on a laptop PC because the pallettes lack the [+] and [-] functionality of the current screen component hierarchy pane.


It'll definitely make user experience better.

Thanks for posting the video,
In designer mode, it is not always easy to place component in the right layout.
It would be great if we could move (drag) components directly in the component hierarchy tree in that mode :slight_smile:


Actually, you can achieve that using the hidden Copy Paste Designer feature.

Look for my Wordle In A Day video on this board.

1 Like

I've been noticing this as a pain point. You can click a category to open the category, but the page loads with User Interface open, and it's so big you can barely see any of the other category options.

It would be nice if this feature weren't some kind of easter egg for experienced users. It ought to be more easily discovered.

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Re. copy and paste, we use the standard keyboard gestures for the platform. I'm not sure what's necessarily hidden about that. It'd be one thing if we used Ctrl+: and Ctrl+' but Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V really ought to be part of anyone's standard repertoire of keyboard commands. The only thing I would consider here is adding an Edit menu like most programs have to provide a mouse-based way of initiating the copy/paste.

I think Edit menu is the sort of thing that would make it discoverable. We use standard keyboard shortcuts, but copy-paste features usually come with a context menu or a drop-down menu alongside that can be discovered. Right now, you're just punching keys to see what happens. They're perfectly reasonable keys to experiment with, but it's also perfectly reasonable that it wouldn't occur to users to do that experiment.

I've fantasized about having a rotating set of tips show up when you load App Inventor like virtually any other IDE. That feature rapidly gets annoying, but it's also a nod to the fact that with this kind of development tool, it's impossible for every feature to be smoothly discoverable.

This need not be annoying if the user's AI2 profile (if there is such a thing) remembered if the user ever

  • exported an .aia file
  • did a Download Blocks Image
  • Copy/Paste in the Designer
  • Do It in the Blocks Editor

and only showed tips for features the user had never used.