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The Hack Day Manifesto (hackdaymanifesto.com)
103 points by danielknell on Apr 10, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 23 comments

This is awesome. Thank you for putting it together. As I am in a group scheduling a Hackathon, we can put it to immediate use. I'd like to see a lot more articles of this usefulness and information density on HN.

I would like to complain about a very minor point though, but one that drives me bonkers. The overuse of the word "manifesto" must stop. I even wrote an article attempting to collect all the internet manifestos. It went on for a long time, and didn't come close. http://tiny-giant-books.com/blog/after-the-agile-manifesto-s... Now there is a new entry.

A manifesto is a political document calling for change. This is much more of a to-do list. Or a how-to article. Or a event helper. Anything but a manifesto! :)

While we're on content nits, you might want to add anchors to the headings for deep-linking. Also an alternate chronological view would be even more useful. Like I said, we plan on using this. If we work it into more of a calendar view, I'll post in this thread.

It's actually a "manifest" -- a list of things that are included (well, should be included) -- in any hack event.

I guess he was misled by the URL and title of the document, both of which say Manifesto and not manifest.

On a less snarky note (sorry about that), it seems like a good check list for putting together an event I'd like to attend. As someone else noted, none of the demo-parties and hackathons I've attended have ever checked off every box. On the other hand, it might be a cultural thing -- I imagine these events to be more developed around the valley where they're more common.

This checklist seems very centred on the UK hackday format (which I very much enjoy). I've noticed US hackdays have a somewhat different culture, with different expectations, as do gamejams, etc

The manifesto element comes partly due to the number of times we've (that is, the little cabal that drafted it) have been to events where people have failed to do these things. Point taken though. :)

If that's what you want (grimace, grimace), I'd change the tone to more of a rant. Not a rant, but more of a rant.

But if you ask me, it has a wonderful feel to it already. The thing about the word "manifesto" is that it doesn't match the tone. A manifesto is something that points out the flaws and announces it is time for change. The unabomber wrote a manifesto. Marx wrote a manifesto. The Agile guys wrote a manifesto. Manifestos are rants with calls to action. This didn't have enough rant to it.

Like I said, a very tiny nit. If it weren't for my hang-up with the word, I wouldn't have mentioned it. An altogether terrific job.

The trouble with rants is that the internet is full of them and they never really change anything, sometimes it's better to try and be constructive in the points you raise.

Few of the demo parties, lan parties, conferences etc I've attended conformed to all, or even most, of these rules. This 'manifesto' would probably be more useful as a guide, or a conversation (wiki, forum). It's quite obvious that you need good network, power, registration etc, but how to actually go about doing it is less so.

Asking any of the people that signed the manifesto would probably be a good start ;)

8 ip addresses per attendee? That's a little high. It's incredibly hard to make DHCP work at that scale, and allocating 8 per attendee is wrong. Try 4 - if you're being nice - or 2 if you're constrained. (2 = one smartphone/tablet and a computer).

one of the reasons to go high on IP addresses is because many devices don't release their leases properly, which can cause all sorts of havoc.

That's true. but having dhcp capacity for more than 255 IPs is hard (or, expensive). for a 20-30 person hackday, the organizer shouldn't be worrying about overkill network provision, and should spend that time/money worrying about good food, or something else. (imho)

for a 20-30 person hackday, it's not so much of a big problem. You wouldn't need more than a /24 for that, and you'd still be inside the * 8. But most tech events with more than 100-ish people I've been to have failed on their wifi at some point, and it's normally for this reason.

20/30 people on a regular router that has an IP range of 255 IPs will quite often fall over, I've seen it happen more than once.

The issue is mainly that domestic routers NAT tables tend to overflow with that many users on them.

Either this causes them to reboot (if they're crappy) or truncate the table, killing the oldest connection.

Also, that's mostly when you don't tell people "hey, can you not put your iPhones and Android mobile phones on the wireless?"

right, I'm not so sure that's because of DHCP, though.

DHCP pool being exhausted or NAT table getting full are the two main problems I've seen at hackdays

Especially on the sustenance and prizes sections: if you're putting together a Python-related Hack Day, the Python Software Foundation will throw some dough your way to make those happen. http://pythonsprints.com/

Great list. Extremely handy. Is it just me, or could there be some potential for a basic hackathon "event services", e.g. renting out ip ranges that have per-clearence for most social networks, etc.

Slightly off topic... Is there a website to find out about the hackathon happening near my area?

Specifically for Science Hackday there's http://www.sciencehackday.com/.

In general http://lanyrd.com/ is the closest I've found, but it's still not comprehensive.

You can go to www.hackerleague.org and check out the upcoming events.

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