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This page details the planning of an Inkscape Hackfest 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.

Last updated: 2014-08-24 Meeting notes 2014-09-15 http://inkscape.org/en/paste/392/


A hackfest first. We'd be working on Inkscape bugs, features and delving into coding, packaging, website issues. Anything that can benefit from developers and users being physically available in the same space.


We hope to schedule the hackfast just after or just before the Libre Graphics Meeting 2015 (LGM2015) at the end of April 2015. Fill in the dates of that event here when available.


A sketch of what might happen on hackfest days, 2 or 3 days of things should be planned.

a) Social meeting b) Pre-lunch presentations c) Lunch d) Pure hacking e) Dinner f) Pure drunk hacking


Technically the best location is the MIT campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The SIPB computing student group has been contacted in order to get something organised. Other contacts are also available should SIBP not work out.

More details as they arrive.


The Boston/Cambridge area hosts many meetings, hackfests and Free Software events. It is both the home of the Free Software Foundation in downtown Boston, many software related companies involved in Free Software such as Red Hat, Canonical and Google as well as hosting very many large Universities with competent computer science departments.

The area is packed full of sizzling restaurants and other events for social activity.


The venue can be commuted to via the backbone of the MBTA transport network, the Red Line. Any hotel /outside/ of Cambridge and Boston centers but on this Red Line should be both affordable as well as accessible. Events should consider themselves based on this line too.

House sharing should also be possible. Martin Owens is a local who is inviting a developer to stay for the event. others may be available too.


Finding local companies who might like to sponsor the event, help out with feeding people or bringing them to attend can be documented here.

Sponsors' interests

It would help a lot if we have specific ideas about how to compensate sponsors, what they would be "buying".

Interests and offerings

  • PR among users
    • News item with clear marking of who sponsored the event
  • Improving a product that they ship
    • Work on specific bugs may be very tricky
    • offer to work on general code improvement (focussing on refactoring/ease for devs to develop new things, for example) seems good
  • Improving a product that many of their employees use
    • Work on specific bugs may be very tricky
    • offer to work on general code improvement (focussing on stability, for example) seems good
  • PR among coders
    • Clear PR during event
    • News item with clear marking of who sponsored the event

Action items

Please take yourself off the list if you've completed one.

Date Owner Item
15 sep 2014 Karen Sandler (SFC) Could inquire if RH and Google can sponsor
15 sep 2014 Bryce Get the fundraising doc posted on our website
15 sep 2014 Bryce Once we have things more nailed down: inquire with samsung for hackfest sponsorship
15 sep 2014 ScislaC Contact userbase for interest in the hackfest
15 sep 2014 ScislaC Get a list of companies using inkscape
15 sep 2014 Tav Summarize and mail devlist

Brainstorm area

Put things here that you think could use a bit of discussion/thought.

Tasks to tackle

What can we hack on? To me (Johan) what seems nice are tasks that become more managable/fun/... and with higher chance of completion (maximum one day) when done in a group. Before determining specific tasks, what kind of tasks should we try to tackle?

  • A bug that requires knowledge of large part of codebase.
  • Simple repetitive refactoring or code clean up that can be parallelized and may not be so much fun alone. Examples:
    • make sure every file contains standardized and correct copyright notice,
    • eradicate all use of gboolean/TRUE/FALSE,
    • move towards C++11 by =delete on copy-constructors instead of making them private+undefined).
  • A more complicated refactoring that requires discussion.
  • A feature that can be split into parallelizable tasks possibly with different skills required, for example:
    • combination of UI, backline math stuff, usability/behavior stuff.
  • Strategy and implementation for SVG 2 fallbacks.
  • Future work discussions (/not/ coding), for example:
    • plugins.

For the drunk hacking sessions:

  • Fun stuff, obviously. So perhaps a quirky feature, and see next day if it lead to something usable.


We aim for around 10 people.

Who do we expect to join (not remote), what kind of people?

  • Seasoned Inkscape developers? Yes.
  • More recently joined Inkscape developers? Yes.
  • Coders unfamiliar with Inkscape? Possibly one or two. Local students, e.g.
    • Good programmers with experience?
    • New programmers with little experience?
  • Users? Probably none that don't fall in other categories
    • Graphic designers?
    • Technical drawers?
    • 'Powerpoint' figure drawers?

We can make a list of possible tasks for each of these groups.

For the first hackfest, I (Tav) would keep it open to anyone, but only promote it to people already familiar with the Inkscape code base.

Help for newcomers

  • Provide a VM image with: Inkscape's trunk ready to compile. Preferably with clang so one can run clang's static analyzer and quickly get a nicely formatted report of potential bugs that are generally easy to fix (i.e. null-ptr checking, etc).
  • List of simple tasks

Non-coding stuff

Some ideas for socializing and getting away from PC screen

  • Karaoke :)
  • Board/card games
  • Run around town
  • Movie
  • Pub