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Ian Hickson
Works at Google
Attended Bath University
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Ian Hickson

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Lots of progress recently in the Flutter universe. The prettiest progress was a demo that Viktor landed showing how to integrate our sprites library with our Material widgets library, which looks really sweet. I included a screenshot below, and you can see the source at: https://goo.gl/BvNnNp

Hans has been working on implementing the various patterns described in the Material Design "Scrolling Techniques" page, which has a lot of subtlety. I've included some screenshots of this below too. Hopefully if we can build all those techniques into our widget library, applications written with Flutter will be able to replicate those patterns easily by just setting a few flags. One open question is how much we should bake into the Scaffold widget and how easily we can make things overridable so that you can provide your own variations.

Meanwhile, I continued to work on making Flutter apps accessible. I've been focusing on Android so far, and I've hit a major milestone: you can now navigate Flutter apps with the TalkBack service, hear the labels, and press buttons! You can see this in one of the screenshots below, where I've turned on TalkBack's captions so you can see what it's reading out. There's still lots to do, and it's still relatively buggy, but I think we have a good foundation.

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You should totally fund this Kickstarter. Here's videos for why:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4-i7PSzAfA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5Oko13Le44
 
Only 4 days left and we still need $64,000 in pledges! Please help by contributing to our Kickstarter campaign.
PLEASE SHARE THIS POST! We are also on YouTube as AcroCatsRock
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The number of people shooting other people in this country is too damn high.
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Ian Hickson

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Stephen Colbert and Neil deGrasse Tyson have great chemistry.

The thing they don't mention about the whole pluto-is-a-dwarf-planet thing is that if you categorise Pluto as a Planet then the number of planets we have in our solar system immediately goes up by 5 (not 1), according to the IAU, with dozens more already known but not yet accepted by bureaucracy, and with an estimated 10,000 more to be added as we find and categorise them (about 200 in the Kuiper belt, and the rest beyond). I don't understand why all the people who want Pluto categorised as a planet never mention Eris (heavier than Pluto and around the same diameter), or Ceres (closer to us than Jupiter), or any of the other named ones.
 
The interaction of Stephen Colbert and his guest is pretty amusing.
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Being labelled a planet by humans confers no advantages nor disadvantages to astronomical bodies.  If we ever achieve the ability to closely image other solar systems, we will CERTAINLY find bodies which break our arbitrary rules, no matter what those rules happen to be.

Ian Hickson

Layouts - General Discussions  - 
 
I finally picked a layout and built it. 40m of sidings on two tables, and a loop. Pretty boring layout to operate, but I gotta have somewhere to put the rolling stock!
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Sure. Post a new post in the community and +me in.
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For the last few weeks I've been working on our accessibility story. I've been focusing on the code in the rendering library that walks the internal layout data structures and builds a tree that describes the application's semantics. To debug it, I've built a fake accessibility tool that then consumes this data and draws the entire description of the application over the top of the application using the foregroundPainter of a CustomPaint widget which wraps the application Widget tree.

This was working great, but I was cheating a bit for the interactivity: while all the application state was being drawn using the custom painter, the actual touch input logic was still being done against the "real" application beneath.

So the next step was to wrap the whole application in a GestureDetector with an IgnorePointer widget inside it. The GestureDetector would get all the touches, which it could then pass to the fake accessibility tool, which would then use the API to the accessibility logic in the rendering library to report the touch, thus completing the circle. The IgnorePointer widget would prevent the touches from reaching the "real" nodes beneath.

Sounds great!

But when I launched it, the screen was blank. After studying it for a minute, I noticed that actually the screen had been replaced by a single, screen-sized button: the GestureDetector I'd just created. My fake accessibily tool was essentially displaying the accessibility tree for itself. Oops.
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Kitty!
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I didn't expect it, but this is actually very much worth your time.

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/07/03/upshot/a-quick-puzzle-to-test-your-problem-solving.html

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+Christine Mecklenborg ... or any raw data at all, really :)

Ian Hickson

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Help the WHATWG by signing the patent commitment form for the URL standard!
 
The WHATWG is starting down the road of getting patent commitments for its standards. You can be part of this!

First, create an account with the W3C's community group system https://www.w3.org/accounts/request

Then, join the WHATWG community group: https://www.w3.org/community/whatwg/join

Then make the patent commitment by following the instructions on this page (pick the first radio button, then click "Record my choice"): https://www.w3.org/community/whatwg/spec/82/makecommitment

That's all there is to it! Google, Mozilla, and Opera have already signed the patent commitment agreement. Anyone can sign up, but it's even more useful if you are an employee of a big patent-holding company and can convince your company to sign up!
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Ian Hickson

Planning a layout  - 
 
For now I don't have much room for a layout, so I'm stuck trying to fit all my rolling stock onto two big IKEA tables. So I'm trying to find a layout that maximises the amount of space I have for trains, at the cost of having no room for anything else. (This is not meant to be realistic. It's just temporary until I can get room for a real layout.)

Here are my goals and requirements:
• It should have lots of room for freight rolling stock storage.
• It should have room for storing a couple dozen engines.
• It should have interesting yards that are not frustrating to operate (e.g. the yard leads should be at least as big as the A/D tracks).
• It should have a mainline that goes from somewhere to somewhere. Loops are acceptable since I've got such limited space, though a long non-loop mainline might be better. Two-line mainlines are more interesting than one-line mainlines.
• Ideally, it should have room for a 2.3m passenger train, namely the TGV from the Märklin 2014 catalogue. I don't have a train that long yet, but I'd love to get that one eventually, and I can't justify getting it if I don't have anywhere to put it.
• I have one Märklin 7951 crane to place somewhere.
• The tables are 2600mm × 950mm (the lengths can be adjusted to 2180mm or 1750mm). I have room for these tables in more or less any configuration, though some of them (e.g. an L shape with both tables fully extended) are a bit awkward. I can probably figure out how to bridge between the tables if they're not touching.

I've made some attempts at designing layouts within these constraints, as shown below. In these layouts, light green track is the mainline, and the other colours are just to show what tracks are related (e.g. one yard will be one colour). When measuring storage space, I don't count switches, buffers, the mainline, tracks that lead to sidings, yard leads, A/D tracks, or run-arounds; I count everything else. So far, my longest mainline (not a loop) is 14.9m, the most storage space I've managed to pack onto one layout is 32.65m, the longest A/D track is 1.7m, the longest siding with a buffer at one end is 2.14m, and the longest station (what I call a siding that connects on both ends to the mainline) is 2.7m. (All on different layouts, sadly.)

Can anyone do better? :-)
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I like design number 8.
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  • Bath University
    Physics, 1998 - 2001
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✔ Verified Geek and Cat Lover
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HTML spec editor
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  • Google
    Spec Weenie, 2005 - present
  • Opera Software
    QA & Standards, 2003 - 2005
  • Netscape
    Intern (QA & Standards), 2000 - 2001
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Hixie, Hixie the Pixie
Mediocre nachos, friendly but dubious service, unconvincing kid options.
Public - 10 months ago
reviewed 10 months ago
Food is mediocre. Atmosphere is great, lots of happy activity, lots of light, good location. Friendly and helpful staff.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Prompt, courteous, and professional
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
The broccoli omelet tastes bland and watery. The home fries the same. The menu has items they don't sell. The juices are Tropicana bottles. On the plus side, the wait staff are very nice and friendly.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
29 reviews
Map
Map
Map
More interactive modern art museum than interactive educational museum, bit still fun. IMAX theater could do with a good cleaning.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Food is barely edible.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago
Bland
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago