Enderandrew, thanks for your comment - it's exactly as you write: We don't believe there will be huge code improvements within 24 hours - that's what the regular release processes are for. However, we believe FLOSS development needs more attention by the public (=everyone who doesn't read
/.) Thus we'll try to get mass media (TV, news papers etc) to the event and document the Hackontest session and thus inform mortal software users that there are alternatives for their MS et al. products.
As second effect we expect to motivate FLOSS users to file their feature requests on the platform so developers get to know what people want. It's sort of addressing end user wishes with lot of demand (And yes, this concept is copied from Dell Ideastorm and Ubuntu Brainstorm - but now made available for all open source projects) Of course we are aware that there are roadmaps with future functionality enhancements. In this case it's even easier for developers to participate in the competition: Just file the features you've planned to implement anyway and maybe win a trip to Switzerland and some pocket money.
A last comment by the (unpaid) organizers: The first Hackontest is a trial - if many people participate in the selection process, file feature requests and rate them, if many skilled developers agree to implement features and show up at the event and if FLOSS communities support Hackontest overall (e.g. such as phpMyAdmin
), then it's a success (and will be hopefully repeated next year). If not, we're sorry for the distortion we've created and won't bother you again with silly ideas
Thanks for helping to make more marketing for great FLOSS products and participating on www.hackontest.org