Room 208

Elaborate Burn

Posts from #whinybugzilla

Tumblr has started making link posts point to an interstitial redirect on, instead of directly to the actual page. In the spirit of Google’s incredibly annoying redirector, the URLs are hideous:

t appears to be a Base64-encoded token specific to the post, while u is just the Base64-encoded URL. The redirector at least checks that the token matches the URL so that it can’t be used for phishing by setting an arbitrary target, which raises the question of why the URL is there in the first place, in a format that’s opaque to human readers.

Not following Google’s example, the redirect is performed as an HTML <meta> refresh. This is stupid for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is that it confuses clients that aren’t Web browsers. Moreover, while Google waits until the link is clicked on to replace the URL, so the status bar remains useful, Tumblr doesn’t. This means that there’s no visible indication of where a link really points if you’re not on the dashboard.

What is the point of all this? Analytics, most likely, though of course given Tumblr’s remarkable lack of communication about its platform the real reason is anyone’s guess. What I do know is that it’s dumb.

Dear Tumblr,

Why have you taken away the ability to upload inline images using the HTML and Markdown editors? No, switching modes using the post gear menu isn’t good enough if it mangles all of my existing markup. Stop.


I’m a Tumblr theme developer. I have various bug reports and feature requests that I’d like to send in, not least regarding my continued inability to edit my theme’s description. Tumblr’s official venue for discussion of the theme API is a Google Group that has been dead for months, and was rarely trafficked by Tumblr devs even before it died. So, readers: Do I have any recourse for getting things fixed, beyond complaining a lot and hoping someone notices?

I poked around today to see if I could use the Tumblr API to change the type of an existing post, a task that I’ve previously shown how to do with form twiddling. It turns out that the API cheerfully ignores the type parameter in requests, which I probably should have checked before spending a couple of hours on installing stuff and putting together the foundations of a simple-yet-classy web app in Flask. Oh, well.

Long story short: If you want to change the type of a post, messing around with the dashboard’s HTML remains the only way to do it that I know of. Surely Tumblr could actually support this in its UI?

Dear Tumblr,

Nice of you to only remember whether I’ve seen the new dashboard tour in a local cookie, so that I can see it every time I log on with a new device. I really do love clicking on a baby blue button labeled “Hey alright” over and over again before I can actually read anything.


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