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CNC Server Scratch HTTP API [v1]

This file defines and documents all the available non-ReSTful Scratch 2 offline editor "experimental HTTP extension" API resources and configuration for cncserver.js. As noted, these are as experimental as Scratch considers them, and the output format may change without warning.

Unlike the ReSTful API:

  • GET is the only method used for the requests. This means data is only passed in the URL path structure, or in get variables.
  • No data is intended to be read from HTTP responses with the exception of the /poll endpoint, therefore other request in the API return no data.
  • Scratch currently doesn't support any kind of namespacing for URIs, so these endpoints live outside the /v1 ReSTful namsespaced API, directly on the root.
  • Scratch also doesn't seem to support arbitrary slashes in URI structure so I've replaced them with periods. This unfortunately does not apply to variables, and must be also added to the end before any variables (if any). 👿

In each request example below, the server is assumed to be added to the beginning of each resource, E.G.: GET http://localhost:4242/poll will GET the poll content output page from a server plugged into the local computer, at the default port of 4242.

How do I use this?

Though there's not a 1:1 relationship between them, these API endpoints are intended to be used in Scratch via the custom block definitions found in watercolorbot_scratch.s2e. Though this is WaterColorbot specific, most blocks should work regardless of the machine selected. To access the blocks, either open an example Scratch example file from the WaterColorBlocks repository, or import them via the hidden extension menu item in the Scratch 2 offline editor accessed by pressing the shift key and clicking the file menu, select "Import Experimental HTTP Extension" from the bottom of the menu, then load the .s2e file above from the root of CNC Server.

All defined WaterColorBlocks

Once imported, the blocks depicted above should all be available in the "More Blocks" section on the UI.

An Important Note on Timing... 🕐 🕥 🕙

At the beginning of creating Scratch support, efforts focused on ensuring that Scratch would wait for every single process to complete, as current clients like RoboPaint do. It was soon found that Scratch had an open bug that didn't allow for this, but a "send and forget" model for triggered commands works quite well as CNCserver manages its own command buffer. This means that all commands are sent and wait for the previous command to complete before running, allowing for very smooth performance for lots of little commands that are streamed to CNCServer as quickly as they can be pushed into the buffer. One remaining downside is that X/Y/Z positional values (and others) read from the bot are realtime and do not take into account past or possible future values.


1. Output

These are Scratch 2 required, output only resources required for general use.

GET /poll

This page is polled during every screen draw (about 30 times a second), and all input into Scratch is handled here. Any value block are populated directly from this page, along with any waiting processes (not yet fully implemented).

Response

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8

x 0
y 0
z 0
angle 90
sleeping 0
state 0
height 0
busy false
tool color0
lastDuration 0
distanceCounter 0
simulation 1
Usage Notes
  • Values are set directly from internal storage variables and reflect what the bot is currently doing, not what was sent into the buffer and still must be done.
  • x & y are in an arbitrary absolute scale based on the relative offset between Scratch pixel values and the number of steps on the WaterColorBot stage at default resolution, with 0,0 right in the center to mimic Scratch standards.
  • z is either 0 or 1 depending on if the brush is up (0/Not painting), or down (1/Totally painting)
  • angle the current angle of the internal "turtle", used only for this API to allow for linear forward and backward relative movement.
  • sleeping, either 0 or 1, states whether the API is actually listening to commands.
  • Other fields are pulled directly from the pen object of the ReSTful API.

GET /crossdomain.xml

Created before the CORs standard, this required "file" for flash applications allows the resources to be accessed outside of the security realm of the flash application.

Response

GET /crossdomain.xml
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8

<?xml version="1.0" ?><cross-domain-policy><allow-access-from domain="*" to-ports="4242"/></cross-domain-policy>

Triggers/Input

Note: The following examples do not include requests or responses as these all use the GET HTTP method with URL parameters and return no text in the body as described above.

3. Absolute movement/settings

If you need to change something to an exact know value, these are what you need.

GET /pen.up & /pen.down

Does just what it says on the tin.

GET /coord/:x/:y

Set the absolute X/Y position, given in the same pixel approximate scale in the return coordinates.

GET /coord/:named-x/:named-y

Set the absolute X/Y position based on the given word for the position, E.G.: /coord/right/bottom, /coord/center/top. Accepts standard English top, left, right, bottom & center.

GET /move.absturn./:angle

Set the exact angle of the turtle's facing direction or relative movement to the given angle.

GET /move.speed./:value

Sets the move speed to the given value, accepts 0-10.

GET /penreink/:distance

Sets the number of centimeters the bot will draw (movement over the canvas while the brush is down) before "re-inking" the brush with the last used media (water/paint). 48 is the default value used by RoboPaint and is recommended. This value is reset to 0 (do nothing) whenever the Stop button//reset_all is triggered.

GET /penstopreink

A shortcut to set the re-ink distance to 0, or OFF.


4. Relative movement/settings

Relative movement is made possible via the "turtle" pointer interface and is based on angle, X/Y or other known variables. All relative values are sanity checked to avoid crashes.

GET /move.forward./:amount

Steps the turtle forward (based on angle) from current position.

GET /move.nudge.x./:amount & /move.nudge.y./:amount

Nudges the turtle X or Y value by the given amount. Allows for positive or negative values, does not change turtle angle.

GET /move.right./:amount & /move.left./:amount

Rotate direction that the turtle is facing either right or left by the amount of degrees given.

GET /move.toward./:x/:y

Absolutely sets the turtle facing direction angle towards an absolute X/Y coordinate relative to the current turtle position. Useful for "follow the mouse" applications.


5. Grouped functions

These do a series of actions to help make things easier

GET /tool.color./:index & /tool.water./:index

Helpers for getting water or paint on the brush based off the integer index number given. 0-2 for water, 0-7 for color.

GET /pen.wash

Washes the brush in all three water dishes from the top to the bottom. Does not park, but does life the brush when complete.

GET /park

Park the bot in the top left parking location. Note: this is not the default absolute center position the turtle pointer begins at, and this will not effect the turtle position.

6. Misc

GET /reset_all

Triggered by Scratch when the red "stop sign" is clicked, or when another action is expected to reset the program.

Usage Notes
  • Completely resets internal "turtle" to 0 position
  • Clears entire run buffer, so this should stop any currently running action or group action (like getting paint).
  • Does not park or lift the brush. This may be up for debate.

GET /pen.off

Turn off motors and reset pointer to top left park position.

GET /pen.resetDistance

Reset the distanceCounter variable back to 0.

GET /pen.sleep.0 & /pen.sleep.1

Turn on or off sleep mode based on the given value, either 1 for on, 0 for off. Sleep mode ON will prevent the API from doing anything until sleep mode is turned OFF.

GET /move.wait./:seconds

Sets a "wait" command in the buffer for the specified number of seconds, decimal values like 0.5 are OK.