Hampton Catlin

Hampton Catlin giving a Drinks & Demos presentation.

Hampton Catlin (born 1982)[1] 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.[2]



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.[3] Since its initial release in 2006, Haml has been in constant development and has been ported to over 10 other languages.[4] It's the second most popular templating language for the Ruby on Rails framework[5] 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.[6][7] Sass is now bundled as part of Rails.[8]

In 2011, he co-wrote with his husband the book "Pragmatic Guide to Sass", published through The Pragmatic Bookshelf.[9][10]

Wikipedia Mobile

Catlin wrote several applications for iOS and other mobile platforms, including Dictionary!, a popular dictionary application,[11] and a Wikipedia browsing client which was later purchased by the Wikimedia Foundation.[12] He was subsequently hired by Wikimedia[13] 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.[14][2][13]


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.[citation needed]

Personal life

Catlin was born in 1982 in Jacksonville, Florida[1] and currently resides in New York with his husband and collaborator, Michael Catlin.[15]

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.[16] 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...."[17] 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.[18][19] 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.[20] When asked if he'd donate again, Eich responded "I don't want to answer hypotheticals."[21] 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".[22]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Beginning Rails: From Novice to Professional". Google Books. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  2. ^ a b "Hampton Catlin". Crunchbase. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  3. ^ "Unspace Interactive". CrunchBase. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  4. ^ "Haml". Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  5. ^ "The Ruby Toolbox". Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  6. ^ "The Sass Team". sass-lang.com. Archived from the original on 1 September 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  7. ^ Cooper, Martin. "Hampton Catlin on building Sass". .net. Future Publishing. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  8. ^ Cooper, Peter. "Rails 3.1 Adopts CoffeeScript, jQuery, Sass and.. Controversy". Ruby inside. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  9. ^ "Pragmatic Guide to Sass". amazon.com. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  10. ^ "Hampton Catlin". hamptoncatlin.com. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  11. ^ "Hampton Catlin". O'Reilly Media. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  12. ^ "Meet the merbists: Hampton Catlin". Merbist. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  13. ^ a b Cooper, Peter. "Wikipedia Needs Rubyists to Flesh Out Mobile Vision". Ruby inside. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  14. ^ "Wikimedia Mobile is Officially Launched". Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  15. ^ Fagioli, Brian. "New Mozilla CEO is allegedly anti-gay marriage -- Firefox developers boycott". Beta News. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  16. ^ Williams, Lauren C. "LGBT Developers Boycott Firefox After Anti-Gay CEO Takes Office". Think Progress. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  17. ^ Catlin, Hampton. "Goodbye, Firefox Marketplace". Retrieved 26 May 2017.
  18. ^ Quinn, Michelle. "Mozilla In Twitter-Storm Over New CEO's Support Of California's Anti-Gay Marriage Measure". Silicon Beat. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  19. ^ Crook1, Jordan. "After Supporting Prop 8, New CEO Brendan Eich Comes Under Fire From Mozilla Employees". Tech News. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  20. ^ Drake, Sarah. "Mozilla workers take to Twitter to call for CEO Eich's resignation". Upstart Business Journal. Retrieved 31 March 2014.
  21. ^ Shankland, Stephen. "Exclusive: Mozilla CEO Eich says gay-marriage firestorm could hurt Firefox (Q&A)". CNet. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  22. ^ Catlin, Hampton. "A Sad 'Victory'". Retrieved 22 August 2014.

External links

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