Adam Jarret

Blog

GTweet is born

| Tags: google-reader, gtweet, php, projects, twitter, twitterfeed, web-dev

Update 3/5/09: GTweet is now officially in beta and has moved to it's own domain. Check out gtweet.net for more details.

Everyone gets frustrated at work (I know I do) and after a particularly brain numbing assignment, I decided to blow off some steam this weekend and take another crack at my script for piping Twitter updates through Google Reader.

I feel like I might be over-pimping this lately, but it has become my favorite "low-stress" project - it's still in the fun "idea" phase and hasn't been tainted by mountains of legacy code and years of neglect and shortcuts.

On the last go-round I added links to @users and fixed a problem with the link-parsing regex. This time the focus was to add user avatars to the RSS feed.

GTweet Screenshot Screen shot

While I did succeed in adding the avatars, I also ended up completely re-implementing the way the script parses RSS.

Initially, the script was coded as a quick hack using event-based XML parsing (what can I say - I'm used to Cocoa), but I have now switched to using the PHP DOMDocument object. Check out this page as a reference.

The re-factoring also pushed me to reconsider the script's name. I have been calling the script Twitterfeed, which was the second name that popped into my head, but in deference to the folks over at twitterfeed.com, I decided to change the name to GTweet.

Version 2 of the script can be found here. You can also take a look at the source code if you're interested.

Go to gtweet.net for more details.

A little support and encouragement goes a long way - if you like/use the script, let me know in the comments!

GTweet

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Resurrecting getdvdchap

| Tags: getdvdchap, google-analytics, perl, projects

Yesterday, I finally got around to setting up Google Analytics for adamjarret.com.

After gathering 24 hours worth of stats, I was surprised to see a link in a post on the handbrake forums driving traffic to my site.

The link is in reference to a Perl script which I wrote to extract chapter start times from DVD IFO files. Like most of my little projects, getdvdchap was pretty niche and I never saw any numbers demonstrating that anyone but me had a use for it.

When I redesigned my site last spring, the script was taken down along with a bunch of my crappier ASP scripts that I didn't want to maintain. While I still have no plans to update the code (I don't even have a Mac with a working DVD drive anymore), I figured there was no harm in putting it back on the projects page, so I did.

Whoever came looking for the script before, have at it - I hope it helps.

getdvdchap

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Twitterfeed Update

| Tags: google-reader, php, projects, twitter, twitterfeed, web-dev

Update 3/5/09: Twitterfeed has become GTweet and has moved to it's own domain. See gtweet.net for more details.

By the power of regex I have corrected the behavior of Twitterfeed when handling multiple links in a single tweet.

Usernames prefixed by @ are also now made into links.

I think I have made all the tweaks I can without delving into the Twitter API. As much as I love a good API, I've got a few other projects (both for "real" work and my own endeavors) that take priority over adding a little favorite star to the bottom of each tweet.

"God No!" you say? "But I've been patiently waiting" you say? "This fool is still wasting his time with this thing that no one else thinks is useful" you say? Let me know in the comments.

GTweet

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Wordpress Funkyness

| Tags: wordpress

Update 2/24/09: The problem seems to have resolved itself (knock on wood). I have no idea what happened but I'm glad it's over. For some reason posts are not being categorized and tagged as of today. All my categories and tags still exist, but viewing posts by tag or category always yields no results - it's as though none of my posts have ever been tagged. More as this develops...

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More Thoughts on Twitter

| Tags: google-reader, php, projects, twitter, twitterfeed, web-dev

Update 3/5/09: Twitterfeed has become GTweet and has moved to it's own domain. See gtweet.net for more details.

Despite conflicting opinions on how to use Twitter, my OCD makes it very difficult not to read each and every toot that comes my way.

Because of this, I'm really starting to like Google Reader for keeping track of my timeline. When I use a dedicated Twitter app I either feel bombarded or like I'm missing tweets as they go by.

With Google Reader, each toot has a "read" status like any other blog post, so I always know which tweets I haven't yet seen. The best part is that the read status is set and accessible whether I'm using my iPod touch or any desktop browser.

This is starting to sound like my post about Gmail and IMAP - maybe there is something to this "cloud computing" thing :)

The first version of my script that adds some Twitter functionality to Google Reader is very hackish and since I'm actually using it now as my primary means of reading Twitter, I'm thinking about cleaning it up and adding a few niceties.

  • The regex pattern for matching links is too greedy - if there are more than one link in the tweet, the non-link text in between the two links is matched as well.
  • There is currently no way to "favorite" a tweet - I'm pretty stingy with my favoriting, but it would be a nice feature to have nevertheless.
  • To implement #2, I'm going to have to deal with authentication anyway, so I might cut out freemyfeed.com entirely and pull updates directly from Twitter using the API. This should also decrease the waiting time for tweets to appear in my feed.

I'm not sure when I'm going to have time to implement this but I took a look at the API call to ★/☆ posts and it's pretty straightforward. If you have any other suggestions for what my script should do, let me know in the comments. Also, If you're a Twitter purist and feel like I'm wasting my time, let me know why.

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Twidget

| Tags: twitter

Well it seems as though I've gone and missed the entire point of Twitter. :)

In a previous post I talked about a script that I have written to make the experience of reading my Twitter feed in Google Reader a bit more pleasant.

This script in conjunction with persuading more of my friends to join Twitter has sucked me deeper into the world of toots and tweets. Now I find myself refreshing Google Reader more often than the RSS feed updates.

I'm still resistant to the idea of a dedicated desktop app, but an interesting compromise might be Twidget, the Mac OS X Dashboard widget that allows me to update my Twitter status and view the 20 latest toots in my timeline.

I've been playing with it today and it seems to work well. Not sure how late to the party I am on this one, but the widget seems to be under active development with some cool enhancements supposedly on the way.

Got an opinion? How to you keep up with your Twitter feed? Let me know in the comments.

Twidget