All projects and challenges as of 24.01.2023 08:03.

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Ask Ti Jean

Data safety on the Road

During the Rethink Journalism hackathon in Basel, we brainstormed how to help participants of similar future events to get some help with Information Security, and receive recommendations of materials - as well as more targeted advice about computing safety.

Photo credits: Kitty in the city

Read / Write on

💸 Donate to who presented a position paper and related news at #dinacon22


At #rejoha22 we discussed concerns about journalists being targets of cyber-infiltration. We started an open pad, in which we suggest developing a toolkit: so that, even with minimal preparation, the infosec resilience of your community can be slightly improved - one hackathon at a time. The idea was further developed at the DINAcon HACKnight and other community meetings.

We originally called the project "Ask Jack", but out of respect for Jack Schofield, the Guardian’s former computer editor and long-running author of the Ask Jack advice column, we have renamed it ASK TI JEAN. Why? Ti Jean (little Jean) was a childhood nickname of Jack Kerouak - a great American novelist of French-Canadian ancestry, who was born 100 years ago and had aspirations to be a journalist. One of his most famous works is On the Road, which happens to share acronyms with Off the Record (OTR), a cryptographic protocol worth knowing.

Man in the Middle
Is not Worried
He knows his Karma
Is not buried

But his Karma,
Unknown to him,
May end —

-- Mexico City Blues by Jack Kerouak

Enter your availability to find a time that works for everyone!

We are using to plan our DINAcon HACKnight meetups this year. It takes an interesting approach to collect personal preference in a data-protection-conformant way, and presents an original interface to enter and visualize group preferences. Despite being a small project, we found it reliable and useful for planning the HACKnight.

Donate: PayPal

{ hacknight challenges }

What tools do you use for planning meetings for your open initiative? Learn about some of the open source alternatives. Set up a plan for your next code jam, footy match, or Jass night at

Consider setting up your own instance on a free Google Cloud trial. Let the developers know how straightforward the process is, if anything is lacking in the documentation. Become a translator or make a donation.

See the instructions below to deploy and contribute to the open source project. Check out for example issue #143 that we are already discussing with devs.


Electronic building permit application for swiss cantons

Thanks to the eBau team for presenting a lightning talk and running a stand at DINAcon 2022.

Thanks also to Giger Energy and Solargenossenschaft Region Biel for the process inputs on the design of the eBau portal during a HACKnights meetup.

While the eBau and Caluna projects currently are not fundraising online, we can support the Django REST framework which the project depends on the backend, as well as the frontend framework Ember.js which is on Open Collective.

See also:

{ hacknight challenges }

Log into the eBau portal of your canton and try to create a draft submission. Get a feeling for the platform and think about whether it helps you to complete a complex application process with the authorities.

Read through the documentation of the project, learn about the software architecture and political process behind it. Contact the team with any suggestions or improvement requests through GitHub or e-mail.

Deploy the project locally, or get started as a developer by installing the Caluma project on your machine. See if there are any open issues you could contribute to, help with a translation, etc., on the open source repository.

GovTech Hackathon

Take part and contribute in upcoming hackdays of

DINAcon 2022 is an awesome venue, the HACKnights the perfect time, and you are the best crowd for a sneak preview of our plans to run the GovTech Hackathon next year organised by that will unite diverse offices with civil society in challenges to bring API-first, Open-by-default design to the services of digital government.



{ hacknight challenges }

Save the date! Sign up for the to stay tuned, or remember to visit the website for more details early next year.

Join this project if you would like to set up a Pre-Event, help run a data prep workshop, or contribute to the event production in some other away.

The Hackathon will run on dribdat, the same platform as the HACKnights. Poke at the internals, see the Issues list, test the APIs: all the details are in the About page. Let's get ready to rrrumble.

OSS Benchmark

Tracking the institutions and activity of local open source projects

On social media, events, and projects like the OSS Benchmark and OSS Directory, our community has important discussions about how we track source publications, evaluate quantity vs. quality, and verify responsibility.

Discover the range and breadth of the open source community at OSS Benchmark. Does it correlate to what you hear and see at DINAcon? Are any important institutions missing? Explore the accounts and repositories, look at their statistics, and collect some ideas of how this kind of data could be used.

This challenge builds on the discussion at DINAcon 2019:

😻 Follow the Institute for Public Sector Transformation on GitHub.

{ hacknight challenges }

A community run list helps more people get involved in tracking the situation. Contribute at least 1 missing institution or project to the OSS Benchmark by opening an Issue, or starting a Pull Request on github_repos.json.

Run the data we have collected through your favorite open source data visualization tool and see if you could add some compelling criteria for it, such as cumulative stars or commits. There is a tip here for loading data into a Jupyter notebook.

Install the project locally, get it running on your machine, patch some of the open issues. Perhaps you could write a contributor's guide (#163), or add support for another kind of repo (#145)?

TTN Starter Kits

An Idea that is greater than the sum of its Parts

The Things Network (TTN) consists of an inclusive and open global community of people, companies, governments and universities who are learning, experimenting and building with LoRaWAN (low power, long-range), typically sensor-based data collection projects. We are supporting a scattered yet active community of open hardware tinkerers in Switzerland through events and Starter Kits.

Support TTN and related open protocols by joining the Open Network Infrastructure Association! You can help us to improve bootstraps and badges for next year, and run the next edition of MakeZurich, TTN Bern, TTN Basel, and other activities in 2023.

💸 Donate at

🔵 Follow at Open Collective

Photo of Bern

{ hacknight challenges }

Learn a bit of background about the concept of an open network, the technical and legal issues, and how to get connected. Explore the maps of community gateways as well as TTN Mapper, see how well the coverage is in your part of town. Leave a comment with your observations.

Look for introductory materials from MakeZurich, Instructables, Hack-a-day, to find interesting projects. These will typically have parts lists so you can order the components online. Swiss shops like Bastelgarage, Pi-Shop, Digitec, etc., have most of what you need to get started. Join the community and reach out through Slack if you have any questions.

Build something awesome and share the story! Next year we want to open up our platform to include all the DIY tinkering happening in garages across the country.

Tusky & GoToSocial

A popular app and alternative server compatible with Mastodon

Over the past days there has been a dramatic movement of users from Twitter to Mastodon, following change of ownership and worries of imminent changes on the platform. We have been covering DINAcon 2022 on the Fediverse, using open source apps.

Tusky is one of the ones being used, reputedly one the most stable/performant options for Android users.

On Saturday, we used GoToSocial to set up an alpha server as part of a Rethink Journalism hackathon challenge.

This app and server work well together, and both can be supported at Open Collective.

{ hacknight challenges }

Install Tusky, pick a server, create a Mastodon account, start tooting! Here are some good starting points.

Volunteer to help moderate the server you are part of. Contribute financially - to the open source projects, as well as to the maintainers of the server you use. Help to translate Tusky and GoToSocial into more languages, test for bugs, suggest feature improvements.

Install the local development environment (see Readme). Look through the open issues on GitHub, roll up those sleeves, and help out with the code works.

wLw Karte

wir Lernen weiter braucht dich!

The association Wir lernen weiter (wLw for short) collects laptops from all over Switzerland, professionally refurbishes them, and then passes them on to people affected by poverty throughout the country. This is done through a large network of partners, who check the financial situation of the inquirer, and orders the laptops accordingly. People who need a laptop can contact the association via the website.

The basic situation is described on a form, for example, whether or not the person receives one receives social welfare or not. Depending on the combination of these questions, you will then receive a link, on which a map appears, which shows the partners for the respective situation. In the context of this concept, only the partners that are active in the social welfare context are discussed. On this map you can see all the municipalities in Switzerland and further information, where to contact and if the municipality is already part of wLw or not.

We could use your help in improving this part of our service. For more information on how to get involved, support or join the association, visit our website.

💸 Donations: wLw Spendenkonto

💸 Support Zorin OS (Linux distro used by wLw)

wLw at dinacon

{ hacknight challenges }

Explore the current map of partner municipalities, get to know the project and it's extensive documentation (in the wikis).

Develop an alternative based on open maps, using the same dataset. See the request in the attached PDF for more detail. UPDATE: we are working on it, see README and LOG above.

Think about some other ways the open source community could support this project: from improving documentation, to maps of local Repair Cafés and Linux User Groups, to recruiting people in our community to volunteer some hours with users directly. By the way, wLw is looking for good techies here.



"A boost in performance, that's kind of like hiring 33% more coders"

Data Package as a Service

Make open data small, self-published, and actionable


Test a Proof of Concept app from MeteoSwiss


A free, open source power tool for working with messy data and improving it