Hampton Catlin (born 1982) is an American computer programmer, programming language inventor, gay rights advocate, and author, best known as the creator of the Sass and Haml markup languages. Hampton is the VP of Engineering for Rent the Runway, but has previously held similar roles at Moovweb, Wordset, and at the Wikimedia Foundation.
He created a lightweight markup language called Haml which he intended to be a radically different design for inline page templating systems like eRuby in Ruby. Since its initial release in 2006, Haml has been in constant development and has been ported to over 10 other languages. It's the second most popular templating language for the Ruby on Rails framework and has inspired many other templating languages.
In 2007, Catlin created a style sheet language to expand on Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), used to describe presentation semantics of web pages. Catlin continued to work on Sass with co-designer Natalie Weizenbaum through 2008. Sass is now bundled as part of Rails.
Catlin wrote several applications for iOS and other mobile platforms, including Dictionary!, a popular dictionary application, and a Wikipedia browsing client which was later purchased by the Wikimedia Foundation. He was subsequently hired by Wikimedia and given the role as mobile development lead for the Foundation, launching the official mobile website in June 2009. The backend for the site was developed using Ruby and the Merb framework.
Catlin also co-created Wordset, a fork of the WordNet dictionary, along with his husband. The project was a collaborative editing environment for linguistic information. As of 2017, the project is now defunct, but the resulting English dictionary is available on Github for download.
The couple made headlines in late March, 2014, for removing a simple puzzle game they had built together from the Mozilla Marketplace after Brendan Eich was appointed CEO of Mozilla. They called for a boycott of Mozilla, pledging "We will continue our boycott until Brendan Eich is completely removed from any day to day activities at Mozilla...." Eich had previously been the center of controversy surrounding his support for Proposition 8, a ballot initiative that banned marriage equality in California, which was re-ignited by his promotion to CEO. After a large public outcry and several Mozilla Foundation employees publicly calling for him to step down, Eich voluntarily stepped down only a week after taking his new position. When asked if he'd donate again, Eich responded "I don't want to answer hypotheticals." In a follow up blog post, Catlin explained meeting Eich to find middle ground and expressing dismay at the response, calling the outcome a "sad victory".
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- Shankland, Stephen. "Exclusive: Mozilla CEO Eich says gay-marriage firestorm could hurt Firefox (Q&A)". CNet. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
- Catlin, Hampton. "A Sad 'Victory'". Retrieved 22 August 2014.
- Official website
- Hampton Catlin on Twitter
- "Team RareBit". Archived from the original on Mar 28, 2014.