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Thoughts on Follower Checker on XKit 7

You might be wondering why it is “taking so long” (although it’s been less than two weeks since I’ve released XKit 7) for Follower Checker to come back to XKit. I’m going to (try to) give you an idea on what is going on.

Technical Reasons

As you know, follower checkers are unstable. This is for numerous reasons, mostly technical ones: for example, a few days back I’ve checked the the page which shows the blogs you follow, and I’ve seen that nearly 60 people I follow were not listed there. You know what that means: glitches on Follower Checker, and false results. And follower checker is one of the most complex extensions in XKit 6, so I can’t port them as easily as I did with other extensions. It will take a few days to port it properly, as opposed to ~5-6 hours for other extensions. 

Tumblr-wise Reasons

This is a two-part topic: one is that follower checkers put a lot of strain on Tumblr servers, something I don’t want to do and have been trying to keep to a minimum. And the other is the “I’ll only follow you if you follow me first” mentality that arose with the follower checkers. There are even people who ask this blog to follow them back: why an extension blog would like to follow an anime blog is beyond me. (I can’t if I wanted to anyways, this is a side-blog.) I say, follow blogs based on your taste, not to increase that followers number by one. If you don’t, your dashboard will be full of things you hate, and you’ll get bored of Tumblr quickly. But this is just my opinion. (Update: In addition to that, I’ve seen a lot of people harassing others under the XKit and unfollower tags before, posts along the lines of “I see what you did [insert url here], consider yourself unfollowed bitch”. It’s one thing to use Unfollower Checker out of curiosity, it’s another to publicly and/or privately harass others for unfollowing you.)

XKit brand-wise Reasons

I don’t like saying this, but there is an enormous work behind XKit (especially XKit 7.) Nearly 99% of the time when an extension on XKit stops working, such as, let’s say, tagging the asks or shuffling the queue, it’s because of a change Tumblr did. No, they are not apparent changes, there are changes to the backbone, or even, sometimes, the spelling of functions in the HTML code XKit calls. (A recent change Tumblr did changed "dashboard_messages" to "dashboard_messages_inbox" and broke XKit 6’s ask tagging feature, for example - I don’t know why they did this.) I try keep up with these changes, and then create new features. There are servers, bug report forms, extension editors, frameworks etc that I write and maintain, and I don’t want all that work to be reduced to "XKit is a Follower Checker."

I also don’t want people to associate XKit with those who use it to “find out” about “those unfollowing traitors” in order to harass them. I don’t want all that work going to waste, people starting to think XKit is only used by people who like to enjoy keeping their followers “under control.”

In conclusion (or,  the “too long, I don’t want to read it all” part)

Follower Checker will probably return in the future. (It depends on the Survey now) In the meanwhile, I am still trying to port the other extensions. I’m sad to even have to write this but sending me an ask telling me that XKit 7 “sucks because it does not have follower checker”, or even cursing at me, won’t make the process quicker and will probably put me off from writing it.

Thank you for reading, and using XKit.

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