Snap!6 is here, and it's all about scale.
Thousands of miles apart, yet online together, our team of UC Berkeley researchers, SAP engineers and educators from multiple countries and continents just had a party releasing the biggest update to Snap! for years.
Over the past months we've rewritten Snap's Morphic kernel to optimize graphics rendering while demanding significantly less memory. And we've even thrown away hundreds of line of code. We've seen large Snap projects load up to 7x faster and the memory footprint of a particularly big application go down from 2 GB to a mere 80 MB. By saving hardware resources for hundreds of thousands on users we've been able to improve Snap's ecological impact.
We've also doubled the execution speed of Snap's WARP mode, and in combination with the other optimizations seen performance gains of up to 5x. Chrome whiteouts should be a thing of the past, and Snap! now performs smoothly in mobile browsers on phones and iPads.
Bigger projects, faster performance, more devices, less resources, anything else?
We've made Snap's math and list blocks more expressive. Operators can now be used on scalars, vectors, matrices and multi-dimensional data alike. Instead of having to resort to loops to iterate over aggregate data, or higher-order-functions to enumerate them, hyper-operators enable an alternative, much more direct, algebraic way of thinking about and interacting with data. Sound familiar? Sure, it's the big idea behind APL minus the hieroglyphs.
Hyperblocks aren't just super expressive, they're also really fast. Over the past two years we've been rethinking introductory computing from a data perspective. Which data is ubiquitously available, fun and engaging? We believe there's computational beauty and joy to be discovered in all the media that's on your phone and in your cloud: Movies, video clips, sound tracks, songs, pics, snaps, stories, poems, streams and whatnot. All of this is just digital data, yours to p0wn with math! Watch out for our new online course "From Media Computation to Data Science" coming up this fall!
Many people from all over the world have worked with us and contributed to this release. A big "Thank You" to all the educators, artists, translators, beta testers, bug reporters, code pushers, hair splitters, designers, critics, enthusiasts, parents, nerds, students, musicians, archeologists, librarians and menschen involved!
release notes: https://github.com/jmoenig/Snap/releases/tag/v6.0.0