As I mentioned a little while ago, Tumblr has now added the ability to reblog your own posts! This is a great step for Tumblr’s interface, but why not make this wonderful addition by the Tumblr staff go even further?
Missing e’s original Reblog Yourself implementation allowed you to reblog to/from any blog on your account, but unfortunately Tumblr’s new addition does not.
So, as quick as I could, I got working on the problem and can now present to you a new version of Missing e that will again allow you to reblog posts from any blog to itself (in addition to other blogs you have on your account)!
If you want the new version immediately, DO NOT uninstall and reinstall Missing e, instead, read the instructions on how to update:
Firefox users: Until the new version of the extension is reviewed by the Mozilla Add-Ons site, you can update just by installing the new version over top of your existing one from the versions page.
If version 2.5.3 or higher does not appear in the list, you can wait until later, or use this direct link to install.
Yeah but where’s your flair feature?
Well, I might as well break it to you.
It is unlikely that Missing e will come back. If it does, it won’t be the same.
Please note that what follows is my interpretation of communications and feedback I have received from Tumblr staff. It does not necessarily represent their full and complete position on the matter, and it is quite possible that my conclusions are incorrect.
I don’t think so, though.
There are a few main issues Tumblr’s staff seem to have taken with Missing e. First is Missing e’s use of the Tumblr API (for such features as Timestamps, Magnifier, Better Reblogs, etc.). In a number of cases, these features use what Tumblr considers to be too many API calls. I have attempted to get clarification on this point, in order to have some yardstick or metric by which to measure and limit overuse of the API. Unfortunately, the responses I have gotten back only reiterate the position that these features do not “respect API limitations”.
Another point of contention is the use of a technique called “page scraping” (wherein a number of webpages are read into memory by the browser for the purpose of extracting information from them, rather than to present the whole page to the user). Currently, Missing e’s Follow Checker and Unfollower features use this technique. The reason for this is that the first version of Tumblr’s API provided no method to get this information. Before this dispute arose, I had fully intended to modify these features to use the new version 2 API, rather than use page scraping.
What I consider to be the most major factor for Tumblr’s refusal to license Missing e for use is their desire to prevent any and all “content modification”. In the Tumblr API License Agreement, users of the API are called upon to refrain from modifying user or Tumblr-created content in any way other than to adjust formatting to make display more appropriate for a licensed application.
They appear to be applying this section of the license agreement in a very broad fashion. Nearly every feature of Missing e modifies the display of the dashboard (or other Tumblr pages) in some way. Each and every one of these (from the added sidebar in Sidebar Tweaks down to the icon replacement for edit, notes and reblog buttons on posts in the dashboard that are part of the Dashboard Fixes feature) is a no-no from Tumblr’s perspective. I imagine that the purpose of this requirement is so that Tumblr and Tumblr alone will decide how you view your Tumblr dashboard, the desires of power users and Tumblrs who want a smoother experience be damned.
Complying with these demands would mean gutting nearly every feature in Missing e.
This is where I hit a personal snag, though. Tumblr’s Terms of Service and Content Policy documents (like many such documents for other sites) are not ideally worded. From what little legal-ese I know, it appears to me that these policies have holes big enough to drive a truck through.
In case you don’t follow my metaphor, the “trucks” driving through these “holes” could very possibly carry with them any permission I have obtained from Tumblr to hold an account on this site.
I do not in any way mean to imply that this is a likely reaction! I only mean to say that it is a possibility. I feel very much like the little guy under pressure from a much bigger… uh… guy (that simile needs some work).
I do not want to lose my account. I don’t even want to consider the possibility of that (however slim it may be). Just this morning, my wife and I flew into New York from Toronto for the purpose of meeting a bunch of fellow Tumblrs (and Tweeters) I have gotten to know and learned to care about over on my personal Tumblr account (cutlerish.tumblr.com). The kind of community, social atmosphere and, most of all, friends I have found here on Tumblr are not things I take for granted.
Unless concessions are made or assurances given, I have chosen a large group of my Tumblr friends over fighting the good fight. I will toast Missing e this Saturday night at the SnarkNYC meetup, and lament the fact that I had to make such a choice as this.
Well, that definitely sucks. Still, not a peep from Tumblr on this. Come on guys, you can’t pretend the community isn’t interested in an explanation. My question is, if Postling can recreate your dashboard in their app, why can’t missing e?
considering all the free time I put into this.
I just get the feeling the disagreement is over more than just page scraping and API usage. Maybe I’m just imagining things due to the mood I’m in.
Frankly, Missing e became slightly more of an onerous task than a labour of love months ago. It occasionally interferes with my full-time job and my home life. I just saw all the people using it and suggesting it to their friends and posting about how much they liked this feature or that one. That kind of thing is addictive to a developer.
Hobbies and crafts you do in your spare time should be enjoyable. When they start feeling like work, they’re tolling their own death knell.
I am going to see what I can do to fix it up. Be a better Tumblr API citizen. Prune the features they don’t want that I didn’t feel right about including in the first place. If it’s much more than that, I have my doubts about whether it is something I will continue to pursue.
I will say that it was eerily simple to disable installation of Missing e. Click, click, short shell command. That was it.
Can you share what features they had an issue with? You can contact me privately if you wish.
I can understand them having problems with things that would have a serious impact on their system, adversely affecting the experience of the entire user base. I just hope they realize the tremendous value Missing e brings to Tumblr and work with cutlerish, rather than against him.
I also wish Tumblr was more forthcoming and transparent about decisions like this, instead you have people speculating what the reasons were, you can nip that right in the bud by posting a message on your staff blog so the entire community is aware.
This guy has made my life on Tumblr MUCH better with his amazing tool and I appreciate the hell out of what he’s done.
It looks like there is a brand-new Tumblr layout (as of the last few minutes).
This is playing havoc with Missing e.
In the coming day or so, I will be working on updating Missing e to be compatible.
In the meantime, you may want to disable Missing e!
I will post here as soon as the extension has been updated!
Disabling Missing e
- In the menu (little wrench icon), go to “Tools” and click on “Extensions”
- In the extension list that comes up, find Missing e and click on “Disable” underneath it
- In the “Tools” menu, click on “Add-ons”
- Find Missing e and click on the disable button on the right side of it
- In the Safari menu, click on “Preferences”
- In the “Preferences” window, click on the “Extensions” tab
- Click on Missing e on the left sidebar
- Uncheck the box that says “Enable Missing e”
Whew! I was worried.