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Hackontest — 24h Open Source Coding Marathon 50

maemst writes "Can you code 24 hours non-stop? Hackontest is a new Google-sponsored 24-hour programming competition between different open source projects. Its goals are to enhance Free Software projects according to user needs and to make visible how enthusiastically open source software is being developed. During the current online selection process users and developers of open source software may submit feature requests and rate and comment them. On August 1st, 2008 the Hackontest jury will pick the three most promising teams. Each team will receive a free trip to Switzerland on September 24/25, 2008 to participate in the competition located in Zurich. Hacking 24 hours inside an etoy.CONTAINER, the teams and their virtually present communities will implement certain features based on the online ratings and jury selection. In the end, the Hackontest jury evaluates the code and awards the winners with a total of USD 8500. The jury is made up of 10 renowned open source contributors: Jeremy Alison (Samba), Jono Bacon (Ubuntu), Brian W. Fitzpatrick (Subversion), Martin F. Krafft (Debian), Alexander Limi (Plone), Federico Mena-Quintero (GNOME), Bram Moolenaar (vim), Bruce Perens (OSI founder), Lukas K. Smith (PHP) and Harald Welte (gpl-violations.org)."
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Hackontest — 24h Open Source Coding Marathon

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  • Enhance? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by RAMMS+EIN ( 578166 ) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @07:33AM (#23126652) Homepage Journal
    ``Can you code 24 hours non-stop? ... to enhance Free Software projects''

    I don't know about the rest of you, but, although I am sure I _could_ code non-stop for 24 hours, I am sure I won't be producing the best quality code if I do so. I think _enhancing_ any project is best done with clear thinking and sufficient breaks.
    • the common argument ammong tech workers are the long hours... Yet we partisipate in competations to show it off. Mixed messages any one?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Devv ( 992734 )
      I could probably hack for 24 hours non-stop but I wouldn't be able to work on a serious project for 24h non-stop
      Obviously I am referring to the diffrence between a hack and a serious application built with continued developement in mind.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by somersault ( 912633 )
      Exactly, I tend to spend more time wondering which direction to best approach a problem from, trying to find an elegant solution that is succinct, but also flexible. I often spend a lot less time implementing and bugfixing code than I have planning it out.. there is more than one way to do it, as them perl people say - often the challenge is just deciding what is the 'best' way to do it for the application you are writing. I'd give examples but I'd just end up ranting for 2 paragraphs, as usual :p
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by flewp ( 458359 )
        I don't know how it is for programmers, but as an artist I've stayed up for more than 24 hours, spending the majority of it on art (be it work, school, etc).

        Once I started feeling tired, the quality of work suffered dramatically. No longer was I able to "go by feel" but had to actually think about the smallest detail, and usually it was for the worse.
      • I'm not sure that's quite what GP meant.

        I know that I can code, break, and code for some 18-20 hours, with very long breaks -- some to think about the project, and plan it out, and some to get my mind off the project entirely. But by then, the quality really does suffer, no matter how carefully I plan -- lack of sleep eventually makes me completely ineffective at anything, including coding.

        I could probably do it with polyphasic sleep, but I'm not sure I have enough time to get on a polyphasic schedule befor
        • Yeah sleep is good. I once had one of those moments where you're stuck on a problem, go to bed, and basically as soon as you wake up you've figured out the solution. If I have everything all planned out beforehand, then I think I'd be able to go for 24 hours (though in that time you could probably code a whole OS :P ), it seems kind of pointless though, the quality is bound to suffer by the end as you say.. and if the focus is on the actual coding without stopping to test everything thoroughly, then there w
    • Re:Enhance? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) * <bruce@perens.com> on Saturday April 19, 2008 @11:16AM (#23127650) Homepage Journal
      Nobody said the judges were being up for 24 hours. In fact, I made sure they knew I wasn't volunteering for sleep deprivation. And I just found out about this strange cyber-morturary container they propose to hold the contest in. Now, we know these things don't always get delivered, but if it does, I want a picture!


      • And I just found out about this strange cyber-morturary container they propose to hold the contest in.

        Coffin hotels a la Snow Crash?

        • Oops, it's not the cyber-mortuary, it's another product of eToys, also in a container. Coffin offices, sort of, but then freight containers aren't so small. That's reassuring. When I read the mortuary part, I wondered what sort of plans the organizers had for us :-)
          • They're probably going to give the winners jobs. Spending 24 hours straight coding in a coffin is good preparation :)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by modir ( 66559 )
      The website states clearly that you have to be in a group of 3 people. So it depends on how you manage the team. Everyone has only to work for 8 or 9 hours if you plan it like this. Then as well from the website: "However, the Hackontest developers may connect to their outside community through chat, SVN, wikis etc. thus enlarging their team size virtually in a unlimited scale." In other words those in the container could only be the team leaders/project managers and those outside program.
    • Mod parent up - this is a ridiculous way to get new code into software. Sheesh, no wonder half the bug/security fixes I see coming through Ubuntu updates are buffer overflow vulnerabilities.
  • by moderators_are_w*nke ( 571920 ) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @07:46AM (#23126702) Journal
    Doesn't sound like a sustainable pace. [wikipedia.org]
  • by Devv ( 992734 ) on Saturday April 19, 2008 @08:01AM (#23126752)
    Does the container have a toilet?
  • It WILL blend your brain.
  • Publicity stunt (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mattMad ( 1271832 )
    To me this sounds like a publicity stunt with little useful output for the projects. I prefer the concept of the Google Summer of Code (even though many of the projects funded there seem to fail), because it focuses on a longer-term development and possibly recruits new talent to the projects.
    • Publicity stunt/extreme/nerdy is good in this case bringing hackers together for OSS to show off how hardcore they are. I doubt it has much to do with the code getting done in those 24hrs. Its an event.
  • ...none of the resulting code will make it into production. Marathon coding sessions produce only crap.
  • Anyone else think the etoy.Container/Mission_Eternity link is creepy? Quote: "Mission Eternity is an information technology-driven cult of the dead." ... 'nuff said.
    • What I want to know is what text-to-speech engine was used in the video. Damn, that is the best one I heard yet.
      • by Unoti ( 731964 )
        Here is the speech synthesis you are looking for [acapela-group.com], and you can try it out right there on their web page. I love the software so much, and I've actually grown quite attached to her voice.

        As soon as I read your comment, I thought I knew the answer even before hearing the voice. I then listened to the video, and sure enough, it was the voice I thought it would be.

        I used to spend a fortune on books on CD, at $50 usd per book it became an expensive habit as I drove back and forth to work.

        Then I started

  • MacHack was a 3 day/24hr conference with tech presentations. During the event, people put together hacks to compete for the covetous A-Trap award, given at the end. Some great hacks over the years.

    I was at MacHack 19, good times. There never was a (real) 20.

"I will make no bargains with terrorist hardware." -- Peter da Silva