Profile

Cover photo
Verified name
Ian Bicking
Works at Mozilla Corporation
Attended Earlham College
Lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota
8,267 followers|1,082,923 views
AboutPostsPhotosYouTube

Stream

Ian Bicking

Shared publicly  - 
 
 
This is awesome.. Simple, light, and tough.

From the website (translated from Russian) it appears to be open source, and comes in kit form, but I can't really tell.
http://www.mtv-t.ru/
18
3
Gabriel Pettier's profile photoKai Dorschner's profile photoVlad Piersec's profile photoMath BKweb's profile photo
3 comments
 
Good solution for all kind of ground. Nice
Add a comment...

Ian Bicking

Shared publicly  - 
 
Tom the Dancing Bug, IN WHICH various people at different times in history read snarky tweets.
1
Robert Cooper's profile photo
 
The dino ones made me lol.
Add a comment...
 
 
Back Into the Light
The whole Mozilla/Brendan Eich affair has been traumatic from day one.  For me, superimposed over that trauma was the death days earlier of my former partner Richard in Montana.  Please, indulge me for a moment as an old man tells a story.  Richard was diag...
The whole Mozilla/Brendan Eich affair has been traumatic from day one.  For me, superimposed over that trauma was the death days earlier of my former partner Richard in Montana.  Please, indulge me for a moment as an old man ...
9
Add a comment...

Ian Bicking

Shared publicly  - 
 
Doing basic layout in CSS is still pretty brutal.  LESS and other preprocessors work on a syntactic level, but compile to straight CSS so there's a limit to how much they can simplify things, since some things are just really hard to express in CSS.  Some really simple things.

So this seems interesting: http://gridstylesheets.org/

Seems to have the basic features of a preprocessor, with the addition of runtime-calculated styles.  With that you can give general constraints for your application and it figures out how to solve those constraints given a particular environment.

Downside: seems to rely on a familiarity with iOS, as it's not that clear to me how to use the tools they provide to make the layouts I might want to make.
7
1
Annette Price's profile photoAaron Hamid's profile photoNick Bauman's profile photo
2 comments
 
Apple managed to avoid that mess for a while, but now they have their own gridbaglayout problem.

Android seems to be doing it right still. And they have way more screen sizes than Apple does. They key is that Android does not render anything during a configuration change (such as a tablet rotation). Apple wants to render an animation during every change. (The HIG actually says "if your layout can't animate into position in a logical way, do a [fucking] cross-fade transition"!)
Add a comment...

Ian Bicking

Shared publicly  - 
 
Paraphrasing an aside from Ted Nelson on Zigzag data structures – probably the reason why relational databases caught on is because they were defensible against embezzlement. 

Not sure what to make of the zigzag data structure itself. 
2
Kai Kögler's profile photoSergey Schetinin's profile photo
3 comments
 
He talks about not imposing "techy" view of things onto data immediately after spending ten minutes imposing his ridiculous multidimensional structure onto a trivial (and inherently useless) dataset.
Add a comment...
Have him in circles
8,267 people

Ian Bicking

Shared publicly  - 
23
9
Thomas Bartels's profile photoKelly Anderson's profile photo
Add a comment...
 
Several FAQs that are more or less restatements of:

Q: Was Brendan Eich fired?
A: No, Brendan Eich resigned.
5
Ian Bicking's profile photoMark Mayo's profile photoSteve Drees's profile photoJustin Van Winkle's profile photo
4 comments
 
+Steve Drees: I imagine the pressure going like this: "can you represent Mozilla effectively?  Will it help or hurt Mozilla for you to continue to be CEO?  Will these problems pass?" – by the time Brendan resigned it was becoming pretty clear how to answer those questions.  I don't like how events transpired, but ultimately Brendan did what he had to do.
Add a comment...
 
 
the Mozilla CEO
I am a gay employee of the Mozilla
Corporation, and I support my company's decisions regarding the
selection of CEO. This doesn't mean that I'm entirely comfortable
with the selection, but not because I think Brendan Eich is a threat,
but instead because o...
I am a gay employee of the Mozilla Corporation, and I support my company's decisions regarding the selection of CEO. This doesn't mean that I'm entirely comfortable with the selection, but not because I think Brendan Eich is ...
8
3
Bruno Deferrari's profile photoMatt Dragon's profile photoLiu Jianqiang's profile photoAris Berard's profile photo
2 comments
 
Here's the thing: your advocate for a "Free" web went out of his way to advocate against someone's freedoms.  That said, we're supposed to keep learning all our lives and move on from our previous mistakes.  But we don't really get to ignore the repercussions of our choices... 
Add a comment...

Ian Bicking

Shared publicly  - 
 
Talks about the document system underlying the "Mother Of All Demos": NLS/Augment.  Shows wikis as the clear spiritual successor to the system (especially all the many many experiments that have been made in wiki form).

It feels like all those neat wiki experiments never went anywhere, like nothing interesting could scale past a single user.  Or maybe I'm just unaware.
4
Ian Bicking's profile photoChris Dent's profile photo
3 comments
 
Are you familiar with http://tiddlyweb.com http://tiddlyspace.com and https://tank.peermore.com ? All of those are what amount to more webby followups to TiddlyWiki. And now there is version five of TiddlyWiki (the previous version now being called classic at http://classic.tiddlywiki.com/).

There was also Purplewiki.

They all got some inspiration from NLS and other Engelbart ideas, largely because I had some hand in creating them and Engelbart is a huge influence.

+Bradley Neuberg and +Eugene Kim (amongst others) worked for a while on trying to implement the hyperscope in modern browsers. They might have something to add here.
Add a comment...

Ian Bicking

Shared publicly  - 
 
The article is thoughtful, but the conclusion hinges critically on something I think is wildly incorrect: https://medium.com/technology-and-society/2f1fe84c5c9b

"Most tech people don’t think of it this way, but the fact that most of them wear jeans all the time is just another example of cultural capital, an arbitrary marker that’s valued in their habitus [peer group], both to delineate it and to preserve it. Jeans are arbitrary, as arbitrary as ties. As arbitrary as the arcane and technical code people in my social circles would compete with each other to write during my teen years. C programmers trumped Visual Basic programmers, who were then trumped by Assembly programmers. Assembly programmers competed among themselves, and boasted writing directly in Hexadecimal rather than in Assembly language. People used DOS Debug to directly enter programs rather than using a text editor, or deliberately used the more low-level, cumbersome, interrupt 13 rather than interrupt 21 to do disk operations. If it makes no sense to you, it’s not important, because the point wasn’t what sense they made, but how they delineated community. Like most things about human life, they were primarily about community, status and peer interactions."

In social theory (especially French social theory?) it seems okay to freely and casually assume that all social behavior is just cues, just symbols.  This paragraph, and everything after it, assumes these social cues have no real meaning, that they are as arbitrary as the stars on Sneeches' bellies.

But caring about C or Visual Basic is not arbitrary, it isn't just a game.  It is the act of being actively engaged with a craft.  And yes, that engagement is a social cue.  But it is a social cue that you are passionate about something specific.  Jocks wear the jerseys of their favorite sports teams, and talk about the game last night – and caring about sports makes you a better athlete, they aren't just putting stars on their bellies.

If all this exclusion was just people holding dearly to their symbolic social capital then by shear force of will we could fix it.  But social capital is not just symbolic.  Cultural literacy within a domain might seem like the most symbolic aspect of our social sorting – familiarity with the terminology and history.  And sure it's an asshole response to look down on someone who misuses terminology or is ignorant of history.  But having a kind heart, though certainly admirable, will not erase the separation.
How French High Theory and Dr. Seuss can help explain Silicon Valley’s Gender Blindspots
5
1
David Whitfield Morriss's profile photoMatt Dragon's profile photoBrandon Rhodes's profile photo
2 comments
 
Dunno here Ian.  There is some truth in the nits you pick, but

Just because a technology has utility doesn't change that it acts as a social marker (cars, phones, etc).  Compared to the average sneetch, as software making people we just have way more technologies to consider utility and social significance. 

I think her arguments point more toward observing the messy overlap between social utility and other utility and practicing mindfulness of it's contribution to decision skews and cognitive blindspots.  Frequently we ignore the hard to quantify social significance in favor of what we feel the as the more easy to qualify or quantify non-social significance.

Software. It's made out of people.

Unavoidably so.

-w
Add a comment...
People
Have him in circles
8,267 people
Work
Occupation
Computer Programmer
Employment
  • Mozilla Corporation
    present
  • Imaginary Landscape
  • The Open Planning Project
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Previously
Minneapolis, Minnesota - Richmond, Indiana - Chicago, Illinois
Story
Introduction
I'm a programmer.  I work in Mozilla Labs, where we try to figure out new ideas for the web and browsers.

I've been doing open source programming since sometime in college.  All my actually important contributions (and many projects) have been in Python: Paste, WebOb, WebTest, pip, virtualenv, FormEncode, MiniMock, and a bunch of others, quite a few of which no one else ever cared about ;)

Since moving to Mozilla, and because of events in my personal life, I've stepped away from most of those old projects.  Hopefully it will leave room for new projects, but I also find myself in a period of reinvention, moving from server to client, from Python to Javascript, and frankly I'm just older.  I remain dedicated to free/open source software; and while that is practical and has been professionally rewarding, I am more motivated by the principle and politics of open source than the engineering.

I work remotely out of my home, in the Powderhorn neighborhood of Minneapolis.
Education
  • Earlham College
    Computer Science and Math, 1995 - 1998
  • South High School, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    1991 - 1995
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Apps with Google+ Sign-in