Which is the perfect place for the Snap Stage?

This is a discussion that occasionally pops up in the Scratch forums, but that -of course- is also relevant to Snap. The discussion started when Scratch 2 sported its shiny new white Stage at the left hand side, instead of being placed as usual at the right hand side as it was in Scratch 1.4 (and now is again in Scratch 3; NOTE: you can move it back to the left hand side by using the Scratch AddOns).

When this happened I thought: "Yes! Finally! This is the correct place for the Stage!". I supposed that a deep pedagogical discussion had undergone this choice. But then Jens told me that the reason was just making the Stage appear in the exact same place where it was when the user pressed the "look inside" button, so to reduce the amount of change in the page.

The "wrong" position of the Stage is something that slowed down my intuitive understanding of how Scratch works when I looked at the Scratch 1.3 GUI the very first time, back in 2007, without anyone explaining it to me and without reading any tutorial first. To me, being "at the left" meant being "the owner" and being "at the right" meant "being owned by what was at the left". To give a clearer example: in a visualization of the folder tree of a PC, the upper folders are at the left, and the content of each selected folder is at the right.

That is why, for me, when I looked at the Scratch 1.3 GUI I thought the main elements -being at the left hand side- where the blocks. And this was, incidentally, exactly what I was used to by classical programming languages such as C and Java: the code creates everything (eventually by loading sounds and pictures from the disk).

But this was not true in Scratch. In Scratch you can't create sprites by using blocks. In Scratch the main elements are the Stage and the Sprites. And they "own" their blocks and their scripts. That is why, to me, their natural position should be at the left hand side. When I looked at Scratch the very first time, I never imagined that Scratch was a concurrent programming language where every sprite had its own scripts. It took me some time to discover the possibility to add new sprites.

Now Snap has somewhat changed the elements' priority: by using code you can create clones and you can create their costumes.

So, I would like to know which is the "correct" position of the Scratch/Snap Stage for you. And why do you think this position is the correct one: is it just because the Stage was there when someone introduced Scratch to you?

Thanks in advance for any opinion

I think the stage should be on the right side because almost everything is left-to-right. First we write the program, then we see the program's results on the stage.

This would be a good reason if the Stage just represents an output area. But the stage instead is a design area too. And below the Stage there are all the sprites included in the project (NOTE: when I say "the Stage left or right" I mean the sprite corral too). So this reason is not strong enough to me.

The main issue I have with the Scratch 2.0 layout is the block palette floating in middle of the screen. In my opinion, the block palette is like a toolbar in other programs, and as such makes more sense anchored to one of the side.
Also, for the majority of my projects, I do use the stage as an output area, not as a design area, so it makes sense to flow from left to right, but this just comes down to how you are using Snap.

I see. For my students instead the "design" perspective is more relevant than the output one. As for the output, this is mostly done in presentation view (running the project on the Stage they could move sprites around by mistake)

Let me say first that it doesn't matter as much to me as it obviously does to you.

Second caveat: I'm left-handed, which might matter.

But I like the stage where it is. When you say the most important thing should be on the left, for me that's the blocks. The stage is just where the output goes. That's because my programs aren't very graphics-heavy; sometimes I don't use the stage at all, but just click on an expression to see the answer in a speech balloon. Or I'm writing a library for other people to use.

So, I guess I'd say that different people are different and there's no universally right answer.

I do agree with that, I think I could get used the stage in any position, it would just take some time.

I certainly agree. I'm curious if other people have tried to teach themselves Scratch without any kind of support and were also confused by the position of the project objects (Sprite and Stage).