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, 7 March 2016

Release 25: Soul-Silver release!

Release 25 if Sniff is now with us, and brings the usuall cornucopia of goodies.

Features:

  • SniffPad improvements
  • Flotilla Support Improvements
  • Lego Control Lab B support
  • Improved Wedo Support
  • Embedded GPS support


A big call out, and thanks to Robin Newman for his help it getting the Flotilla support close to complete. The new release is more stable, and supports the changes made to the Flotilla in in its "shipshape" update/pre-release - make sure your FW is updated to this. We've were unable to test the full Flotilla system "in-house" as we only had access to a small number of the modules. Robin's done a great job testing the code (often long before we got close to making it work),  bug fixing, and demoing the system. The Motion module is the one outstanding thing to build and we'll have that going in the next few weeks.

We also 'discovered' the Lego/Dacta 9751 Control Lab B... and just had to get hold of one, and add Sniff support. These are about 20 years old and are one of the first Lego/Computer systems. Look at what they had available then, and what they have now, someone is clearly going in the wrong direction - 8 inputs & 8 outputs, easily controlled from a computer without any complex drivers or installs needed - that's like 8 Wedos in one box! There are more (and better) sensors available than the Wedo, and you can pick them up super cheap second hand. I hate to think how many of these have been thrown away when someone couldn't get the SW to work, or because they're just "old". Grab em while you can!

As we were building the SW for the Control Lab, we looked at what we'd learnt developing for Flotilla, and built a more "object oriented" interface to it, than we had for the Wedo. So then we went back and re-worked the Wedo to support the new way of talking to this hardware. You can code for Control Lab or Wedo using either the old Connector based numbering system or using the new method.

We've updated SniffPad so that it now does basic keyword highlighting, and formats text a little nicer, so you can see what's going on in your code so much better. 

On other minor thing you might need to know... To make the Pi versions easier to work with we've moved the GPIO support from the "sniff" command. Compiling on Pi with the command "sniff" just generates a regular executable. This means you don't need to run it as root. To access the gpio you can compile with the pi-sniff command. 

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