Global Sprint 2018: What We Built

Mozilla’s fifth-annual Global Sprint supercharged open-source projects by scientists, journalists, activists, and everyday internet users

For two days last week, open-source projects around the world took a major step forward.

Mozilla’s fifth-annual Global Sprint — our distributed open-source hackathon — unfolded Thursday, May 10 and Friday, May 11. Hundreds of developers, activists, teachers, and makers from 25 countries swapped code and ideas to energize their latest projects and make the internet a healthier place.

“The two-day event was a packed one, from reviewing pull requests to attending Etherpad meetings and calls,” wrote participant Prateek Chanda, who brought his project Code Sleep Python to the Sprint. “The best thing was meeting new developers from all over the world and learning from them about open source practices and their projects.”

Here are just a handful of Sprint stories:

— In Paris, a team of neuroscientists hacked on Brain Box — a co-editing platform for neuroimaging, similar to Etherpad or GoogleDocs. “After the Global Sprint we were able to get attention, feedback and users,” reports Katja Heuer, the scientist behind the project.


— Sprinters around the world contributed to Open Humans, a nonprofit platform that allows users to securely donate data to causes and research that are meaningful to them. Said Bastian Greshake Tzovaras, director of research at Open Humans: “We had a great time at the Sprint! Much of our contributions focused on our Personal Data Analysis Notebooks. It was great to see how people took up the notebook idea and started building things based on it!”

— In Brazil, participants kept sprinting no matter the obstacle. “We got a power outage and went offline… But our sprinters did not give up!” tweeted Macros Vital.


— In Portland, sprinters worked on Reading for Gender Bias, a web-based text-mining tool that scans for gender-biased language. “We were able to tackle code to recognize gender stereotypes,” says project lead Mollie Marr. “It was amazing seeing videos of people collaborating across the globe.”

— In Tunis, participants swapped code, experimented with VR, and snacked on makhroud. “Bouncing back and forth across three devices with two different keyboard layouts; monitoring gitter chat, Twitter, and contributing to @AmelGhouila & @baricks project; answering GH ?s the best I can at the Tunis site,” tweeted Stephanie Wright.


— In Dhaka, participants included members of Mozilla’s Open Leaders cohort — individuals who are leading open-source projects that make the internet a healthier place.


— Mozilla’s Common Voice — a project to make speech recognition software more inclusive — collected sentences from more than 15 languages.

— In Nairobi, participants worked on the Broadband Performance and Internet Measurements in Africa project and WikiPathways, an open biology tool.


— In New York City, sprinters worked on Parkology, a tool for nature-lovers to connect and improve their local parks.

— In Colombo, sprinters worked on Open Online Study Group, a way for people to connect meaningfully around classes they take in open online courses. “I was determined that I could empower next generation students in Sri Lanka to be valuable contributors to the healthy internet,” wrote Mozilla open leader Dilrukshi Gamage.

Other Sprint projects included an online privacy curriculum for women, a decentralized social media platform, an open-source air quality monitor — and even an initiative bringing together dinosaurs and open source.

Relive the Sprint by checking out #mozsprint.

For those who want the GitHub details: 699 people worked through 2,240 comments and issues. We closed 270 pull requests. And we pushed 1,116 commits. That’s a lot of code. It’s also 55% increase in people contributing over last year.

What’s next?

This year’s MozSprint may be over, but there are plenty of ways to stay involved with the open-source projects and communities you love:

— Save the date for MozFest, our annual festival exploring the intersection of technology and society. It’s October 26–28 in London.

— Keep contributing to the Global Sprint projects that resonated with you. Here’s the GitHub repo.

— Promote your own projects — and find others — on Mozilla Pulse, a platform for amplifying open-source projects, ideas and research.



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