Using Thimble Blockly

Setup 

First, you'll need a Thimble account to build and upload sketches from inside Blockly. You can create an account through the learning app.

Once you have your account you'll want to install the Thimble Upload Agent. This program allows Thimble Blockly to connect to your board and upload programs to it. The installer that you want to use depends on your operating system.

Windows

Download and run the windows installer and then start the agent from the desktop or the start menu.

Linux

Download and unpack the installer package and run install.sh , then start it from your applications menu.

Verification

Now, connect your Thimbleduino to your computer and open blockly.thimble.io in your web browser. After logging in to your account you should be able to use the upload button in Thimble Blockly.

Your first program 

Blockly programs are built by connecting blocks together. Blocks that are connecten one below another are run one after the other. All blocks have to be connected to the start block to be included in the program. The blocks are stored in the menu on the left.

Find the "DigitalWrite" block in the Input/Output menu and the "wait ms" block in the "Control" menu. Drag the blocks into position so they look like the image below. Make sure to change the values connected to the DigitalWrite blocks so that one is true and one is false.

Blink ProgramBlink Program

Once you're done, press the Upload button. Once you see the word "Done" next to the device dropdown your code has been uploaded. You should see the light on your Arduino blinking slowly. Try changing the program to make the light blink faster, or in different patterns.

Looking at the code 

Blockly means that you don't have to worry about the code, but if you want to see how your program is being turned into code you can select "View Code" in the menu. You can copy this code and paste it into the Arduino IDE. Then you can modify it and upload it. You don't have to worry about the code right now, but if you want to make really advanced programs later on you'll have to write the code yourself, so take a look and see if you can figure out how it all works!

Your second program 

Connect the potentiometer to an analog pin, then create a program like below (make sure to choose the right analog pin).

Analog Plotting ProgramAnalog Plotting Program

Upload the program and then select "Serial" from the menu to open up the serial monitor. You should see a bunch of numbers being printed out, representing the position of the potentiometer. You can click on the "Plotter" tab to show a visual representation of the data. Here's an example where I moved the dial back and forth randomly.

Plot of analog positionPlot of analog position

What else can I do? 

If you select "Load" from the menu and click on the "Examples" tab you'll be able to see some programs that were made by other people. You can open these programs by clicking on them and see what sort of things are possible.