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, 12 September 2016

Sniff Live!

We've been fairly quiet recently, as we've been working on a big project. It's not exactly a secret (as we've mentioned it in a previous post), but we're just about ready to make a bit more of an announcement about it...

You can now program Sniff entirely in a browser!

After a few year of trying to make the install as easy and as portable as possible, we now have a solution which requires nothing installed on your machine. Just go to, and enter your name to create an account. From there you'll be taken to the online IDE, which is basically the regular Sniffpad IDE but now everything is online.

This isn't intended as a replacement of the regular Sniff implementation - more as a way for you to get started, so it's slightly more limited, but hopefully being able to try stuff out and online will make it an easy way to get started.

To run a program, just press the compile button, and then the run button. Run requires you to enable pop-ups as it runs the program in a new window. Alternatively if a program has been compiled previously a run link will appear in the left sidebar, which doesn't require pop-up permissions.

On the left sidebar you can copy some demo's which are preloaded onto the system, or edit programs you've previously worked on. You can also upload/download code or images. Images can be edited using the paint package, though it is limited to quite small images. Any code you write can load and save files to your account on the server - either text files or image files.

The system can technically compile code for Arduino Uno too, but currently it there's no way to actually execute that code on a board. We're working on that but its a bit tricky!!! 

The system is still in its development phase, so expect things to change/break, but hopefully it should make it a lot easier to use Sniff on a wider range of computers.

Check it out at:


  1. Oops, step 1 (registering) didn't worked for me. Is it because there's a space in my last name? First and last name as replacement for username is new to me.

  2. yes - it would be the space. just pick two "names". We're not that "fussy", but basically don't allow and "special" characters in names, as that would cause problems further down the tool chain. I appreciate that may cause more problems for non-English names, but we have limited resources so have to keep things simple where possible.

    the idea behind using your name as a user name is that we're planning to use this in classrooms - kids (and grown ups!) forget usernames, but usually remember their names.