For over a year, the Snap! team has been obsessively working on a new Snap! release and it’s finally here. Since June 28th, Snap! 5 is out in the wild at snap.berkeley.edu.
And a new social site is coming along with it. There you can find learning resources for Snap!, get access to curated example projects, to Snap!’s reference manual or our new Snap! blog. You can ask your questions or give feedback in our very own Snap! forum, but most importantly, you can now publicly share your projects with others. Yee haw <3
Moreover, we made significant changes to the Snap! editor. Snap! now has over 30 new blocks in nearly all categories. Following Snap!’s maxim of “no ceiling”, we decided to include some of the blocks which were formerly found in the tools library as primitives. Deliberately exposing novices to higher order functions like map, keep or combine (which we in the Snap! team find absolutely awesome) will make these techniques immediately accessible without having to first learn about importing external libraries. We anticipate that this will lower the threshold to experimenting with exciting and powerful ways to crunch even large datasets.
To make computer science more colorful, we added a third dimension to the pen color. Pen colors now work according to the HSV color model and are represented by their hue, saturation and brightness value. With the brand-new color reporter, we can detect all color dimensions at a sprite’s position. This opens up a whole variety of new projects like encrypting a secret text into colors and reading it back or modifying images in a pointilistic style.
Getting external data and information into Snap! was one of the main objectives of this release. Therefore, we decided to not only lower the bar for importing csv- or json-data (you can drag-and-drop these file formats into Snap! and they’ll just work. Isn’t that terrific?) but to create new ways of gathering real world data in Snap! by extending webcam and microphone accessibility. With new blocks in the sound and sensing category you can now live analyze and visualize video and microphone data.
To put data into context, we added an extension to a set of OpenStreetMap services that let Snap! projects incorporate interactive worldmaps. From building your own “google maps” to measuring the actual distance between two actors on the stage, from graphing data in their geographical situation to just having fun exploring the world – this new library allows countless unprecedented and creative ideas for your Snap! projects.
Read more about all the changes in our blog or get experimenting with Snap! 5 right away. It’s your turn now!