FOSS Hack 2020: Results

Hello all,

FOSS Hack 2020 was an exciting event for us (as organisers) as much as it was for you, as participants. A fully remote, “build anything you want”, FOSS hackathon was an interesting experiment, and we are very happy to see a number of cool FOSS projects come out of this. We hope to see these projects maintained and improved over time.

Comparing projects of varying scopes, technical complexities, and dissimilar categories is hard. Here, we have not selected “winners” in the traditional sense, but have picked projects based on a number of factors including technical and engineering quality, product (UI / UX / completeness) thinking, importance, utility, and viability. Out of ~150 projects, the nine that we have selected are featured here.

Fika (grant)

The jury has decided to award Fika ₹5 lakhs, not as prize money, but as a grant for supporting its continued development. Fika is an interesting and ambitious project that requires great technical depth, and more specifically, a deep understanding of programming languages and runtimes in general, to build. We spoke to Emil Soman, the developer, at great length. He is passionate about the Erlang ecosystem, and envisions Fika to be a “web-first”, statically typed, easy to write language that runs on BEAM, the Erlang VM. It gets pretty interesting with his plans for the “Fika cloud”, an environment that focuses on the ease of deploying web services at scale, where the boundaries between the dev and production environment are seamless. Erlang is a technology battle-tested over many decades, and Emil is passionate about attracting developers to the Erlang ecosystem by lowering the entry barrier, and Fika’s simplicity is aimed at that. He had been planning and honing his idea for months, and the hackathon turned out to be a well timed venue for the first working prototype to be built.

It is great to see a FOSS language engineering project in our community. We will invite Emil to give a talk on the project.

Prizes

  • Untab by Akash Hamirwasia – ₹50,000. A productivity tool that’s immediately useful to a wide audience. Well designed and feature-complete with good UX and UI. +1 for utility and product thinking.

  • MergePro by Abhinav Singh and Arjita Chaurasia – ₹50,000. A developer productivity tool that helps manage GitHub PRs inside a browser extension widget. Immediately useful and feature-complete. +1 for utility and product thinking. Feature request to the developers: GitLab support, improved UI.

  • BrainTree by Akshit Garg – ₹25,000. A stand-alone, local, note taking and mind-map tool with a clean UI and good UX, packaged nicely as an MVP. +1 for product thinking.

  • ebb by Liyas Thomas and Andrew Bastin – ₹25,000. An app that aims at helping manage stress and anxiety via personal tasks and goals. An interesting hypothesis presented as a polished, complete product with considerable work on UI and UX. +1 for UI, UX, and product thinking.

  • Privacy Indicator App by Nitish Gadangi – ₹25,000. An app that notifies the user of camera and microphone use on Android. Immediately useful, and addresses an important privacy and security issue with good UX. +1 for utility and UX.

  • Dalal by Naresh Ramesh, Mukul Chaware, Shubham Jain – ₹25,000. An app for receiving, transforming, and forwarding HTTP requests with a simple UI, and a publicly hosted live version. +1 for completeness and UX.

  • Rumqtt by Ravi Teja – ₹25,000. The author added MQTT5 support to the Rust MQTT library, a great value addition to the Rust ecosystem. +1 for value and engineering.

  • lazykubernetes by Santhosh Nagaraj, Nityananda Gohain, Gnanesh Kunal – ₹25,000. A developer productivity CUI tool for managing K8s clusters. Solves a specific DevOps UX problem with a nice command line UI. +1 for utility and UX.

Commendations

  • Userly by Rohan Rajpal, Avi Garg, Royal Tomar, and Srijan Jain. A self-hosted app for conducting and managing user surveys and research.

  • Zettel by Karan Sharma and Sarat Chandra. A self-hosted note taking and publishing tool.

  • Yet Another Chess Engine by Aditya Hase & Saqib Ansari. A clever, tiny (and very entertaining) chess engine that lets humans win. Comes with a nice playable UI.

  • ScanIn by Kumaraguru, Emma Thomas, Dhanush Vardhan Kalaiselvan, and Mridula Kalaiselvan. A fully local Android application for scanning and managing documents.

  • Markd by Shivam Mishra. A self-hosted bookmarking app with a nice UI.

Sponsors

A big thank you to our sponsors for funding the grant and prizes and making the event possible.

Finally

Of the ₹11 lakhs that our sponsors contributed, the hackathon grant and prizes total up to ₹7.5 lakhs. We are allocating the remaining funds to our FOSS grants pool. If you have a FOSS project and you would like to apply for a grant, write to us at foundation@fossunited.org

Once again, thank you for participating and building exciting projects. Here is to the spirit of creating and sharing, the joy of tinkering and hacking, and to FOSS for propelling humanity forward with its immeasurable impact!

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Thanks for all the inputs we received. Feeling proud to be one of the winners😄. Kudos to the entire organising team.

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Many congratulations!

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