Thursday, November 3, 2011

Twidge command line Twitter client

I recently heard mention of a CLI Twitter client, although which one I do not recall. I do recall however, that it was nowhere to be found in the Debian repositories. I found this highly disappointing due to the fact GUIs trigger in me an alarming allergic reaction. Not one to be dissuaded by a package's absence in the repos though, I set out into the wilds of the interwebs for to track down a tarball. But I quickly found that the program was just a Perl script and that it was no longer functional. You see, last year, Twitter switched to OAuth for their application authentication protocol. And while this is a Good Thing, it meant that no apps lacking OAuth support could authenticate. As I scoured Yahoo and Google for a script or app that would free me from this modern age's GUI tyranny, it seemed all I could find were more scripts that predated the Authentication Scheme Schism.

But, avast! I stumbled upon Twidge.

When I saw that the article was written this year, I rejoiced! Lo! An CLI-based Twitter client with OAuth support!

Blah, blah, blah.

Twidge. Good program. Uses OAuth authentication. And if you're on Debian (or Ubuntu or other derivative), it's just...

apt-get install twidge
twidge setup

...and you're rolling. I probably spend >90% of my time either in vim or at a bash or tcsh prompt, so, if you're like me, that's a whole lot of hassle gone.

And if you're REALLY lazy, you can add alias tweet='twidge update' to your .bashrc, and/or alias tweet 'twidge update' to your .tcshrc like I did.

There are a few other CLI options I came across, but I haven't tried them, so how they compare, I can't say. Maybe at some point I'll try them out if I grow dissatisfied with twidge, or even just get bored with using an application that doesn't frustrate me. The ones I saw mentioned (that haven't been discontinued) were bti, TTYtter, and pytc, or, if you want to tweet from your IRC client, BitlBee fits your bill.

Anywho, in the screenshot below, the bottom-right pane shows some test tweets, just to demonstrate how obscenely lazy I can now be with my tweetage. The other panes aren't really pertinent, but in case you're curious: The top left is the aforementioned web page about Twidge; I recommend it; it has some really good info on using Twidge as a medium for automating tweeting system status updates and the like. The bottom left is just there to display facebook's racist attitude toward text-only browsers. (Think you're too good for ELinks, Zuckerberg? ELinks is too good for you!) The top-right is MOC (Music on Console), my preferred vehicle of aural enjoyment. And the multiplexer they are all nested in is tmux. (Face it Screen: you're over twenty years old; you've grown crufty around the edges. Time to let tmux and dvtm+dtach have a go.)

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