07 July 2013

Catroid => Catrobat + Pocket Code

Hi,

You probably found that not much has been going on in this blog, which not at all reflects the tremendous work and developments that have been going on around our project. The reason is that we switched to other communication means, and also changed our project's name.

Regarding the name change, Catroid now became the name of our Android IDE and interpreter for developers only. The first market release of the IDE and interpreter App is now called Pocket Code, and the beta phase on Google play has just started at http://catrob.at/beta

The visual programming language itself has been renamed to Catrobat, which now also denotes the overall name of our project. Reasons where among others that we started already some time ago to also develop IDEs and interpreters for iOS devices, Windows Phones, as well as mobile HTML5 browsers, and thus the "-roid" in our overall project's name did not adequately reflect our project's orientation any more. Also, our Apps have the same name accross all supported platforms, so a new device independent name for the IDEs and interpreters had to be found, and Pocket Code was chosen. Paintroid became Pocket Paint for the same reasons. Pocket Paint 1.0.0 since last week is in the full Google play market at http://catrob.at/PocketPaint

Regarding the switch to other communication means, please use the following links: This blog will not be used anymore in the future, so please follow our activities via above links.

Thank you and kind regards,
Wolfgang

11 March 2012

Catroid release 6: our first public beta is online!

We uploaded our first public beta versions of Catroid and Paintroid yesterday to http://code.google.com/p/catroid/downloads/list --- We are currently trying to find the last critical bugs, but so far it looks very good.

If you have some time, it would be great if you try it out and possibly even write a project with it.

We are grateful if you could report any issues on http://goo.gl/Q9D0r

Thank you and best regards,

Wolfgang

12 June 2011

Short intermediate news on Catroid's Google Summer of Code participation

Some statistics:

As a new project we were allocated four slots by Google – initially only two,
but later we were assigned two more after some other projects kindly
gave back some of their slots. Catroid received 180 project proposals
from 157 students. Out of these, 97 students sent us detailed, in some
cases very detailed, and very good or even excellent project proposal.
The general GSoC 2011 statistics were that out of 417 mentoring
organizations that applied, 175 were chosen by Google, out of which 50
were new compared to previous years. Only two of the 175 accepted
projects were focusing on Android. Altogether, 3731 students submitted
5474 proposals in 2011, and Google decided to fund 1116 of these
students.

There were so many interesting or even fascinating proposals among
those 180 we received that we really feel very sorry for not being
able to accommodate a much larger portion of them. As it is, we
however would probably not have been able to handle the mentoring load
of many more students. This year, we will work as hard as we can to
make it a rewarding experience for the four students we selected, so
we intend to concentrate on them and ask for the kind understanding
of all those that we could not accomodate.

Our Google Summer of Code projects are:
  • GUI optimizations
  • Internationalization of Catroid Web
  • Stand-alone app extractor
  • Sensor / Arduino integration

All of them are already well under way. The whole Catroid project is also
swiftly progressing, with one major refactoring having just been completed.
Note that the downloads on our Google code pages are not up-to-date as it mainly was internal refactoring with only little new functionality, even though there is one new "slide" brick. We are now working hard to quickly bring the GUI to a presentable state and then will announce a new release, hopefully a public beta one. Let's see.

Currently, 52 persons are actively involved in working on various
aspects of Catroid, see the Credits page for a list of names. Let me
note that this can only be coordinated by splitting up the project in many
exciting subprojects such as several involving Lego-robots, quadcopters,
or an HTML5 player etc., and by using a 100% test driven development
method where we use automated tests together with high-quality code
as the only documentation for developers, together with a bunch of other
practices from extreme programming and usability engineering.

Best regards - Wolfgang

11 January 2011

Multitouch piano project

The old Piano and Xylophon projects crashed when touching several keys at the same time even though multitouch in principle works in Catroid version 0.4.3d. These crashes were due to a bug related to a race condition when two sound files are started at exactly the same time. Until this bug is fixed, a simple workaround was to insert wait blocks with random very small amounts of wait time (5 milliseconds difference seem enough) before playing the notes. The new version is available for download at http://www.catroid.org/ as project Multitouch piano and allows to play simple piano chords with up to four fingers touching the keys at the same time (four multitouch fingers seem to be the upper limit for my HTC Desire HD). Please note that this project was developed for the 800x480 screen resolution of an HTC Desire HD etc and does not look good on Motorola Droid 2 etc as they have different screen resolutions. We work on solving this with the next release. Please also note that multitouch capabilities of Android phones differ a lot from model to model and even from firmware to firmware. Anyway, please enjoy!

Best regards - Wolfgang

31 December 2010

Catroid alpha release 4 is out

I am very happy to announce the 4th alpha release of Catroid!

>>> Here's a link to a YouTube HD video about this release.

And here's a short update on the project:

Paintroid is a new part of the Catroid project. It is a graphical paint editor program for the Android platform that, among others, allows to set parts of pictures to transparent. The six year old little sister of one of us has already made some very nice looking pictures with it and used them in her own Catroid project, and she liked it a lot!

Paintroid can load any kind of picture including photos taken with the phone's camera, allows to draw with different kind of lines and in almost any color, including the crucial transparent "color", can recolor complete areas, also including setting them to transparent, and has additional goodies such as pinch-zoom etc.

Catroid now allows to upload projects to http://www.catroid.org/ and is also installed in such way that when one clicks on a Catroid project on http://www.catroid.org/ in the standard browser on the phone, one then can select to immediately open the project directly in Catroid. Additionally, the [if touched] block works very nicely in parallel for all objects and allows to make some interesting interactive applications. Visibility layers are also new compared to the previous release ([come to front], [go back XXX layers] blocks). Additionally, the default installation place now is on the SD card. The release history contains more details.

Our http://www.catroid.org/ website is also up and running, and already features a nice little collection of first applications written with Catroid.

Please note that Catroid, Paintroid, as well as the Catroid community website are not yet ready for unsupervised usage by children and teenagers. The reason is partly usability, partly functionality, partly stability, and partly safety concerns for children regarding the website.

Nevertheless, please enjoy! We already know about many bugs ;-) but most likely not all of them, and we would very much love to get your feedback, either as replies to this posting, or as postings to the catroid mailing list.

I would like to take this opportunity to give special thanks to Mitchel Resnick and his Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab as well as all others who were involved in the development of the Scratch programming language and the Scratch online community site which serve as our main inspiration source. And of course to the Scratch community as a whole! Thank you very much.

Wow! The Catroid development team currently consists of Alexander Kalchauer, Othmar Ruprecht, Peter Treitler, Thomas Holzmann, Tom Spiss, Stefan Hohenwarter, Nikolaus Koller, Tobias Gritschacher, Oliver Prentner, Sercan Akpolat, Alexander Gütler, Peter Schmidl, Maximilian Fellner, Philipp Töglhofer, Ferdinand Knapitsch, Anton Rieder, Daniel Markart, Hans-Peter Kohlhofer, David Reisenberger, Daniel Burtscher, Werner Steinbrenner, Patrick Reinbacher, Jörg Hofer, Christian Hofer, Roman Mauhart, and myself, all at the Institute for Software Technology at Graz University of Technology in Austria.

Best regards and a Happy New Year!

Wolfgang