Did you know…
Tumblr’s loading icon is known as the Knight Rider Bar?
It’s a nod to the red scanner bar on KITT, the self-aware Pontiac Trans Am from the ’80s TV show. You’ll find it in the Dashboard HTML source code as “Knight-Rider-bar.”
Why didn’t anyone tell me?
This must’ve been retconned by our web developers at some point.
The loader was first released as part of Tumblr 3.0 for iPhone and the code itself was written by Nick Thuesen on May 30, 2012, as “TMLoadingControl” (which is what it’s still called in the iOS codebase today).
Devin Doty rewrote it at some point to use Core Animation groups instead of UIView animations triggered by an NSTimer.