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