Microsoft Research makes Touch Develop open source


Touch Develop is a tool developed by Microsoft Research that allows developers to build mobile apps, games and websites in a browser. As of this week it is now open source on Git!

The TouchDevelop project was inspired by the programmability of 8-bit computers of the 80s that introduced many of us to the power of programming. TouchDevelop brings that magic to modern touch-based devices. The result is a tool that you can use to write basic code using a browser and can play on websites or mobile devices

What is TouchDevelop?

Touch Develop has become a popular way for beginner developers to explore the world of games and apps.  All you need to start coding is a browser. This makes it very accessible. I have seen developers sit down and code apps using a  laptop, an iPad, even an iPhone!  Perhaps because of it’s broad accessibility there are some good learn to code courses out there to show beginners the basics of coding. You can find a good one hour self guided introduction and a how to make a game from scratch course at aka.ms/learn2code or you can learn how to organize your own Touch develop app day at appday.org.

TouchDevelop has always been a very open tool, with developers having the ability to share their scripts with other Touch Develop users. But now they take the next step – they have released the TouchDevelop web app under the MIT license. The team at Microsoft Research remains dedicated to leading its further development, but you, our users, fellow researchers, and hackers of the world, are invited to contribute.

TouchDevelop sits in a GitHub repository. You can fork it there, submit pull requests with bug-fixes or new features, submit and comment on issues in the bug-tracker, and check on latest activity. TouchDevelop consists of about 160,000 lines of TypeScript plus some CSS and a tiny bit of HTML. There are instructions about building and running it on our GitHub page.

You can get more information about Touch Develop at their blog. You can also try coding TouchDevelop yourself!

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