Hacks track

We want to know how you pulled it off. Show us your most ingenious hacks, kludges, work-arounds, and duct-tape jobs. It doesn’t have to be elegant, it just has to work!
Hacks are clever, sometimes not. They break the rules. They force the available material into doing what you need or want. Some hacks are illegal, and some just make you proud and/or embarrassed that it worked. Sometimes a hack is the only way. Show the world how you make your hardware and software obey your every whim. Example topics from the past include “Control Emacs with Your Beard: the All-Singing All-Dancing Intro to Hacking the Kinect” and “Location-Based Hacks – How to Automate Your Life with SMS and GPS.”

Sessions for this track

* Building a Translucent Mobile Crypto Currency with Couchbase Lite JSON Sync

Web of Trust with JSON Sync
J Chris Anderson

* Explicit Invitations: Passion is Not Enough for True Diversity

Open Source suffers from a lack of diversity. Underrepresented populations, for systemic reasons, might never show up unless Open Source communities 'hack' themselves through explicit invitation & removing barriers to participation. Mozilla is funding two pilot studies designed to explicitly reach out to underrepresented groups in open source today. Seeking people who like to solve problems and then engaging them in a 6 week, full time accelerator program we hope to explore the question: Can we seed our communities by hacking the social/cultural/systemic issues in order to gain technical contributions from a more diverse set of minds and give to participants an experience in tech that might have long term benefits to them?
Lukas Blakk

* Extension Development with Mediawiki

Mediawiki is one of the most commonly used "wiki's" across a plethora of sites. So I will help you build your own "Mediawiki Extension" that will help you to enhance the features of your wiki.
Richa Jain

* Extreme Software Portability as an Art Form

Writing portable software is hard. Throw in thousands of bad and worse shared hosting configurations, a decade of technical debt, the need to cater to a sprawling ecosystem, and PHP — and you have WordPress. We've found breaking changes harm our community and unfairly punish our users, so we don't make them. But that doesn't mean we don't innovate or evolve — we're just forced to get really clever. And it works, with adoption continuing to soar.
Andrew Nacin

* Futel: the future of the past of telephony

Futel is more than a collection of payphones installed in publicly accessible locations. Find out what we hope to achieve by starting a free telephone network.
Karl Anderson

* How I Learned Haskell by Writing Tiny Games

Earlier this year, I started teaching myself Haskell by using it to write short, text-based games. In this session I'll share what I learned, both about Haskell and about learning new things.
Moss Collum

* How to make generics in C: an adventure in sorting

This will be a talk on how to hack C to get generics-like support, which we used to make a super-fast C sorting library, all in headers. We'll also talk about sorting in general, and the various kinds of sorting algorithms, and why this hack helps so much.
Christopher Swenson

* How to Run 100 User Tests in Two Days

Have you ever dreamed of running a vast quantity of user tests in a very short amount of time? Let me show you how I pulled this off at two conferences.
Daniel Sauble

* Knitting for programmers

Yeah, you've seen us knitting during talks. I promise we're paying more attention than the people with their laptops open. Well, now learn how we do what we do... the programmer way. I'll start with the topology of individual stitches and go through geometry to design patterns, and by the end of it you'll know how to knit a sweater.
Alex Bayley

* Life-Hacking and Personal Time Management for the Rest of Us

Almost all the books and articles out there about taking Agile methods into your personal life seem geared to people who have control over their schedules. What about those of us who have childcare, eldercare, or other incompressible schedule demands?
H. Waterhouse

* Modernizing a Stagnant Toolbox

WordPress turned 10 years old in May of 2013. On that day, the main repo didn't contain a single tool to make it easier for developers to work with and contribute code. Over the last year, this is how and why we changed all that.
Aaron Jorbin

* NerdCred++; How to Customize your Bash Prompt

The terminal is a powerful tool on any developer’s belt. The command line interface provides extensive functionality via simple entry of commands. In this workshop we will customize the development experience by adding personal ⭐︎flair⭐︎ and making the most of limited screen real estate. Customizing the prompt provides additional information and functionality with the bonus of flair. Participants will be able to take pride in custom craftsmanship with the result.
Pamela Ocampo, Rachel Walker

* Nest + Pellet Stove + Yurt

Nest is a twenty-first century take on a nineteenth century thermostat. A pellet stove is a modern version of a campfire that won't burn the house down. A modern yurt is a high tech tent based on an age old Mongolian design. Can they all work together?
Lars Lohn

* Net Art Praxis: Making Internet-Based Visual Art using Open Source

A discussion of the movement known as "net art" and its intersection with open source. We will look at the emerging aesthetic of net art, how the open nature of the internet is challenging the art world, and how to use amazing open source libraries to make visual art in the browser.
Mark Hintz

* Tales from the Trenches: Battling Browser Bugs for "Fun" and (Non-)Profit

Web development used to be HARD. You basically had to rewrite your code for every new browser you wanted to support. But with modern browsers and libraries like jQuery, those dark days are over. Or are they? We pushed the limits of what the web can do while building VisualEditor (the new editor for Wikipedia) and found plenty of hilarious, insane, amazing and horrifying bugs in browsers even in 2014. All we needed to do was poke around in some unusual places.
Roan Kattouw

Proposals for this track

* cassis.js: Code That Runs in both JS & PHP - Natively

This talk is about how I use language hacks to run the same code natively on PHP and Javascript (JS), which I call CASSIS for Client And Server Scripting Implementation Subset. I'll describe how I discovered CASSIS, how to use the open source library cassis.js to write middleware logic once for both client & server, and real-world use cases including where I've successfully deployed cassis.js for years (even as an essential part of my own site tantek.com).
Hacks 2014-04-12 06:57:35 +0000
Tantek Çelik

* Hacking Autism with the Kinect

I'll show a cool hack we did with the Kinect for kids with Autism
Hacks 2014-04-12 02:26:05 +0000
Justin Woo

* Let us QMLify the code : Journey from SoK 2012 to GSoC 2013 to GCI 2013

QML (Qt Meta Language or Qt Modeling Language) is a JavaScript-based, declarative language for designing user interface–centric applications. QML elements can be augmented by standard JavaScript both inline and via included .js files. I will be presenting why QML is gaining popularity over the purely Qt codebase,what is QML, how to get involved with it, and its future in the open source world. A great advantage in porting the code to QML from Qt is that it reduces the code maintenance effort for the communities like KDE. The plasmoids written in QML will have considerably less code as QML allows the creation of fluid UIs in a powerful declarative way.
Hacks 2014-04-05 04:15:51 +0000
Heena Mahour

* Minding Bee

We made it to 1000 improvements in 1000 days, then slipped up and actually paid $1000 to one of our users.
Hacks 2014-04-05 06:55:55 +0000
Bethany Soule

* Typographical Hacks for LibreOffice

Office suites are as old as the personal computer. Yet, after more than thirty years, few of us have bothered to learn how to use them. Oh, we have learned how to get things done in them. Most of us can format a document and print it out, after a fashion. But what we haven't learned is to do these things efficiently, taking advantage of all the tools that are available. It is as if we have learned enough about cars to go down hill in them and coast across level ground, but never learned about the ignition. We get things done, but with more effort and less efficiency that we should. Some tasks, like going uphill, we don't imagine are even possible because of our limited view. Using any office suite to its full potential means knowing how to design your documents – and nine-tenths of design is knowing how to use styles and templates. Knowing how to use styles and templates is the equivalent of being handed the key to that coasting car and shown the gas pedal – suddenly, you can take full control of the vehicle, instead of getting by on clumsy makeshifts.
Hacks 2014-03-22 03:53:25 +0000
Bruce Byfield

* Why I Built a Bot to Reward Open Source Contributors

ContriBot is tightly integrated with the public repositories I maintain. Every time someone contributes code that gets merged into the master branch, the ContriBot will ask them for their information. For example, I might ask for their address and t-shirt size for swag if the repository is related to my employer. When ContriBot receives a reply, it uses the designated alerts to let me and my team know that this person has contributed and should be rewarded in some way.
Hacks 2014-03-20 18:44:17 +0000
Yamil Asusta