Sniff is a "Scratch-like" programming language that's designed to help Scratchers move gently from Scratch to more conventional languages. They can start writing programs, without having to learn a new language because Sniff is based on Scratch. They learn a little more about variables, compiling, syntax errors (!), and they can have fun controlling real hardware while they're doing it.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Release 15: networking and other stuff

Release 15 of Sniff is here!

The big news of the last week has been the launch of the Raspberry Pi 2, which includes an arm7 processor. Sniff has included arm7 binaries for some time now, so not only works great on the new hardware but was one of the first packages to actually be able to take advantage of it.

Release 15 is a bit of a mixed bag. It includes a bunch of improved demo's and device support. We went back to the w5100 ethernet device, which was one of the very first Arduino shields we supported, and reworded the code to make it more robust, and add some extra features. Then we implemented the same code on Unix, so you can write networking code easily in Sniff.

There's also support for the tsl2561 light sensor, and the sht21/htu21 thermometer/humidity sensor (a good alternative to the dht11/22 on low voltage systems).

We reworked and improved some of the minecraft code, so it should be more reliable (and its easier to access minecraft running on a remote machine).

Finally we reduced the code size on the propeller - partially by switching to the compact memory model, but also by re-implementing some of the trig functions, so that they're about half the size of the libm versions. We're pretty please with this, as it shows there's some opportunities for getting the code size down to a sensible level, and we'll be working to improve this in the next few releases.

As usual, downloads for both Windows and non-Windows platforms are on the Downloads page.

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