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The 6th SBML Hackathon

Stellenbosch University
April 6–8, 2008

The 6th SBML Hackathon was hosted by the Triple-J Group for Molecular Cell Physiology at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. This hackathon had an extended format and took place over three days, from the 6-8th April.

The Stellenbosch University Campus is located in the heart of South Africa's Cape Winelands district about 50 km North East of Cape Town (Google Earth kmz). Stellenbosch is a quiet university town which can be safely explored on foot and is a prime travel destination, being minutes by car away from many of the region's top tourist attractions.

List of attendees

Supplementary Materials

Local Organizers

Support for the 6th SBML Hackathon was generously provided by the following organizations:

(grant #077671)
Icon-nbn logo.jpg
The South African National Bioinformatics Network


Day 1 (Sunday, April 6)

Time Activity
13:45 Meet at the guest houses and walk to Hackathon venue
14:00 - 14:30 Welcome and set up at the AI Peroldt Building
14:30 - 18:00 SBML Software Guide presentation, discussion of SBML RDF annotation issue, hacking & discussion
19:00 Group dinner (funded) at Gino's

Day 2 (Monday, April 7)

Time Activity
08:45 Meet at the guest houses
09:00 - 12:30 LibSBML modularization presentation, hacking & discussion
12:30 - 14:00 Lunch (funded)
13:00 - 13:45 Jannie Hofmeyr lecture "Multicompartment Modelling" (optional, all welcome) Biochemistry Dept.
14:00 - 18:00 SBML Test Suite presentation, hacking & discussion
19:00 Group dinner (funded) at Die Volkskombuis

Day 3 (Tuesday, April 8)

Time Activity
08:45 Meet at the guest houses
09:00 - 12:30 Hacking & discussion
12:30 - 14:00 Lunch (funded)
14:00 - 18:00 Hacking & discussion


Guest house accommodation

Stellenbosch University Campus
Stellenbosch University Campus

Lodging was available at the following guest houses, all of which are within walking distance (about 10 mins) of the Hackathon.

Sponsored delegates

Were accomodated in one of the following guest houses:

Other accommodation

Moderately priced ***

Luxury guest houses *****


Flight Information

Participants could fly to Cape Town Internation Airport (CPT) either directly from a number of European destinations, or connect via the Oliver Tambo International Airport (JHB) from New York, Europe, Asia.

Airlines from all 5 continents fly to South Africa. Those that offer daily flights to Cape Town from the UK/Europe include: British Airways, KLM, Lufthansa and South African Airways (including a direct New York -- Johannesburg flight).

Once on the ground

We provided ground transport between CPT and Stellenbosch (about 35 kilometers) for the duration of the Hackathon as no train or underground services are available from the airport.

A number of taxi services were not recommended. Travelers who had no alternative but to use a taxi service, were advised to make enquiries in the airport terminal building about a reputable service. Alternatively, most hotels and guest houses were able to arrange a shuttle to or from the airport.

If travelers wanted to hire a car (directions), rental agencies included: Avis, Budget, Hertz, Imperial, Tempest. It was important to be aware that most cars have a manual transmission and that while automatics are available, they are rarer and slightly more expensive, and that all cars are right-hand drive.

Other Travel Notes


Many countries citizens do not need a visa to enter South Africa. Information is provided at exemptions as well as on the Department of Home Affairs visa information pages.


South Africa uses 220/230V 50Hz power and a three pin plug. Adapters between the standard 3 pin and a two pin plug similar to this but with a diamond form factor <o o>

The building the Hackathon was held in had full backup power and is unaffected by the "load shedding" which had been announced by the national electricity supply utility (Eskom).


The local currency is the South African Rand (ZAR) which are available as both notes (R200, R100, R50, R20, R10) and coins (R5, R2, R1). There are 100 cents in a Rand.

Both VISA and Mastercard linked credit cards are commonly accepted at most retail outlets and ATM machines, which are themselves widely available.


Stellenbosch area

Cape Town and surrounding areas

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