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Hackasaurus/FAQ

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Isn't hacking bad?

Although the word "hack" may have some negative connotations, the Open Web community uses it in a positive context. To "hack" something is simply to take something that already exists and change it to make something new. You can hack physical things- like board games or you can hack the web. Hacking has always been a key element in the creative process. It is a constructive collaborative activity, not a destructive one.

We have an unique definition for hacking. When we say hack we are talking about remixing content to make new things for the web. We mean hacking as tinkering. We are not implying anything malicious or illegal.

There's lots of great posts on the topic. Here's a random sampling.

http://blogs.canada.com/2012/02/15/why-mozilla-is-teaching-kids-to-hack/
http://yalsa.ala.org/blog/2012/01/22/i-hacked-john-greens-web-site/
http://secondaryworlds.com/2012/03/when-hacking-is-a-good-thing-using-hackasaurus-to-teach-argument/

Why is teaching kids about the web and hacking important?

Beyond technical knowledge, Webmaker helps develop “hacker habits” — the combination of technical and social skills youth need to become active co-creators, shape their environments, and take charge of their own learning. In this fast-paced world, it’s important that youth understand how to tinker with technology rather than just consume it.

Does Hackasaurus teach JavaScript?

The current learning objective of Hackasaurus is to teach HTML and CSS. Click here to see more Hackasaurus learning objectives.

Is Hackasaurus available in languages other than English?

Hackasaurus has been localized into 15 languages. You can change the language on http://hackasaurus.org (dropdown in the lower right hand side). We're always looking for community members to help localize all of the content on the website, the educational resources and the tools into more languages. To learn more about Hackasaurus localization, click here

What browsers do the X-Ray Goggles support?

Right now the Hackasaurus tools work reliably on the latest versions of Firefox, Chrome and Safari, but support for more browsers is on the way.

What happens when you publish your hack online by clicking the "P" key?

The hacks are stored on a separate internet domain from the original site they were on. For instance, when you remix facebook.com, your published hack will be hosted on remixes.hackasaurus.org, which is a distinctly different place on the Web.

That said, your remixes are publicly visible on the internet by anyone for all time--so don't be surprised if the hack that you made to make fun of your parents comes back to haunt you!

If for some reason you published a hack in error, please email us at remixes@hackasaurus.org if you'd like us to take it down.

Who owns published hacks?

All content remains the property of the original content producers/copyright holders; Mozilla has no ownership over the content. So, if someone remixes foo.com, the parts that originally came from that site still belong to foo.com (unless they were licensed to allow re-use/remix), and any new content belongs to the user.

Is it possible to unpublish/takedown a hack?

Yes. If you're either the creator of a published hack or the copyright holder of remixed content that you'd like taken down under the provisions of the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, please send an email to atul@mozilla.com and include a list of URLs for the published hacks that you'd like removed.

What exactly is a hack jam?

A hack jam is a one-day (class period, afternoon or multi-day) session that makes hacking and digital literacy accessible, social and fun. Youth team up to solve design challenges through experimenting with Webmaker tools and learn from each other while working on actual problems. Sessions are run by local organizations and volunteers who offer a flexible DIY curriculum of hands-on projects that teach HTML and CSS.

We would LOVE it if you decided to run a hack jam! In fact, we've put together some stuff to get you started.

  • Our handy Event Guides will give you lots of tips on how to arrange and run a participatory, collaborative learning event
  • The Hacktivity Kits provide learning plans for these types of events

We certainly hope you DO decide to run a hack jam (it will be a very rewarding experience for you, we're sure of it).

Check out our events page to learn about other types of events you might want to run: http://webmaker.org/events