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, 18 April 2016

We has Micro:bit!

It's been a rough ride with the BBC Micro:bit... We were really excited by the initial announcement, as its a perfect platform for Sniff, and Yr 7's are exactly the age group we think should be ready to move from blocks to text. Then came the waiting. We did some work on MBED to get things rolling, then then the MBED platform developed its own issues.

Finally we got our hands on a Microbit, last week and all is forgiven.  With a final blitz we've been able to get Sniff running on the Microbit. Because we're so excited about this we've pushed out a 27PRE special release. If you don't have a Microbit then stay away from it, as it may have introduced bugs on other platforms like Arduino, but it runs pretty well on Mac and Windows. If you're using Linux then it should also work, but you'll need to figure out the file paths for your system.

To run it, first set up a working Sniff install for your local machine (on Mac just unzip the Sniff download, Windows users follow the instructions in the recent post and demo video.

Then install yotta from This provides all the microbit tools.

Then plug in your microbic, and you should be able to start running Sniff programs on microbit either by hitting the microbit button in sniffpad, or compiling code with mb-sniff.

There are loads of demo and test examples in the examples/microbit folder, but (if your new to Sniff) you should probably start with blink:

make led digital output D2

when start
..set led to on
..wait 1 secs
..set led to off
..wait 1 secs

We'll have a full Release 27 in the next week or so, once we've check that we didn't break anything else by adding in the microbit code. I'll also post a few tutorials over the next few days.

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