Results of the Open Hack Day Bangalore 2007

The first Hackday in India is over! About 100 hackers took on the challenge to take the Yahoo! APIs and create something using them in 24 hours. In the end, we had 31 submitted hacks and each team or single hacker had his 90 seconds of fame presenting the hack on three massive screens to the whole assembled audience and the 7 judges.

End of the 24 hour countdown at Open Hackday India

Overall impression

Let me say first of all that all the hacks were of a very high quality and the India hackers didn't fall into the trap of showing the classic Mash-Up of showing some information on a map and declaring it their hack. Instead the judges decided on the following winners:

Best "Non-Technical" hack: Yahoo! Hindi Search

Also known as "we admire the cheek", this hack was the presenter going up there and declaring that he does not know any coding but realized that it is a shame that you cannot type search queries in Hindi but that they show up in English type instead. He then went on to show Yahoo! where to get a live translation of the search query to Hindi type, and that we should implement that. We loved the implementation of the hack idea called the "developers itch". Hacks are there to work around things that annoy you with existing applications, and that is why we deemed it worthy to give this one a price.

Best "Really Needs an Interface" hack: Tag Management

This was a set of ruby scripts shown in 10pixel Courier on the bash that allowed you to deal with your tags in in a more automated fashion. The first script identifies duplicates like "movie" and "movies", asks you which to keep and automatically renames all tags accordingly. The second script allowed you to create bundles of tags instead of having to do them by hand inside

"Most Parallel" hack: Collaborative Browsing

Collaborative browsing was an application using xmpp4mosh plugin for mozilla , greasemonkey and javascript to allow two or more users to surf web sites in parallel. Without having to use a server as a proxy the gestures of one user are replicated for the others, which would allow for an easy way to show others how to use a site or find information online.

Best "Desktop Hack": Desktop Wallpaper Love

Desktop Wallpaper Love is a windows application that created a desktop wallpaper from images collected from flickr and filtered through the Yahoo! Buzz feeds. You could run it as a service and have a daily wallpaper of all things that are hot right now.

"I wish I had a Mac" Hack: Third Tag

Third Tag is a Yahoo! Widget sitting in the bottom right corner of your screen that allows you to tag files to make it easier for you to find them much like Quicksilver or Finder on Mac allows you to. In addition to being able to drag files into the widget and add the tags you can also drag text files and get a list of recommended tags based on their content.

"Most Viral" hack: Facebook Friend Folio

This facebook application allowed you to see all your friends, their photos (facebook and flickr), their geographic location on a map, their horoscope and their favourite movies in one single interface instead of having to click through each facebook profile.

"Best Self Expression" hack: Smart Editor

Smart editor is a YUI Rich Text Editor that analyses the text you type while you type it and uses several APIs to show you relevant photos from flickr, news items and book recommendations from amazon to drag into the editor if you want to enhance your text with multimedia. This can save you a lot of time when you want to blog about a certain event, for example.

"Most likely to arrive at next Hack Day on time": Social Routing

This application is a maps hack that uses the traffic APIs to show you how likely it is to arrive some place in time. As the really cool social extra it also interfaces with twitter to allow for your friends or "people in the field" to report street blockages and gridlock as and where they occur and offers shortcuts and alternatives based on the wisdom of the community using the app.

"Brainiest Hack": YaHealer!

YaHealer was hack that allows doctors to share photos of a brain scan over two Yahoo! widgets that are connected over the web and change in sync. The hack showed a photo set of a brain scan and allowed the first user to go back and forth in the set, highlight parts of the brain and chat with the second user. The changes on the first widget would be reflected in the other and there was also a multiple undo option. This would allow for collaborative annotation of large sets of images (for example also architectural blueprints) without either user having to download the whole set of photos.

"Best in Show": Maps Doodle

The best in Show hack is an implementation of Yahoo! Maps with a Canvas overlay. This allows you to doodle on maps or highlight a way to walk to a certain destination much easier than creating the lines using the API. Furthermore, your movements as you draw are being recorded and you can send them to a friend as a URL so that he or she can re-play what you have drawn out for them.

The other hacks

  • FlickOff! - A Flex implementation allowing you to search for a movie, see its reviews, drill down to information about the director, actors with photos and see the trailers. If you are happy with everything you can directly go to netflix and rent the movie.
  • favrRoots - A hack that allows you to create tree structures from data, sort them by dragging and dropping and turn them into voting interfaces.
  • zooky - A messenger plugin that allows you to use the zooky search engine to find relevant results and photos to your queries
  • Google Search Assist - An implementation of Yahoo!'s Search Assist for Google.
  • For now this is it - A music player that allows for live discussion, collaborative tagging and matching international stars to their Indian equivalents.
  • Dark Humour - A search mashup trying to give you a daily dose of comics and geek humour directly without having to click through a lot of sites to find the funnies
  • No man's land - A mashup to find your way around in the city you just moved to. Shows you where the ATMs are, what movies and events are on and photos of the localities you might want to visit.
  • Jugad - A search mashup that allows you to create statistics of search results on the fly, like comparing the net income of certain countries.
  • How big can you think? - A messenger plugin that shows larger toast messages (the things popping up on the bottom right) with the user's avatars when they go online.
  • Daily Prophet - A Flash Mashup showing you all the multimedia and text information for a tag you entered by creating a "daily prophet" (from the Harry Potter movies) style news interface.
  • Visualizr - Renders graphical stories from the text you entered using the Yahoo! Term Extractor and Flickr.
  • SlickRnot! - A rating system for flickr in the style of "hot or not"
  • Wiki Changers - An animated live interface of where in the world changes to Wikipedia come from.
  • Offline Flickr - A Google Gears implementation taking a snapshot of your flickr page to browse offline
  • Seam Carver for Flickr - An implementation of the content aware image resizing algorithm for Flickr.
  • YUI RTE Transliteration Plugin - A plugin for the YUI Rich Text Editor that allows you to convert highlighted text to Hindi type.
  • Yahoo! Search Mashup - What it says on the tin. Showing search results, photos, videos news and answers on a single result page
  • Super Meebo - A Greasemonkey extension for to show live cricket results, change your status messages on all chat systems and twitter your status message.
  • Blogckr - Show photos corresponding to selected text on a blog.
  • Video News Mashup - Adding relevant videos to Yahoo! news instead of still photos.
  • HackBuzzer - A windows app turning your laptop into a surveilance system using a USB camera and a shape detection system.


All in all we want to thank all the hackers for putting so much effort into it and coming up with such a wide range of hacks and ideas. All that was left after seeing all this was to get down and party.

people dancing at Open Hack Day Bangalore

We hope everybody had fun and that we'll see more un-conference style happenings in the area soon. I am back to the UK next week to see what we can do there again.

Chris Heilmann