TTYtter, yes Twitter from the command line

This is mostly for the twitter-geeks and Sys Admins or those that are a mix of both. Some of the applicable uses for this program as I see it are:

  • Updating from cron or automated tasks
  • Updating from your terminal
  • Update certain events from a logfile
  • Updating Twitter from a low-powered computer, TTYtter runs on anything that has a web connection and can run Perl.
  • Checking or updating when you’re stuck at a slow internet connection.

Maybe you don’t need a reason and just want to try it out? Maybe you’re just more comfortable in the command line than in the graphical interface. No matter your reason, you’ll be glad to know that you can now update Twitter from the command line. Or will you?

Typing Exit on TTYtter catches this as an error

Typing Exit on TTYtter catches this as an error and is clever about it

TTYtter has been around for a while now, and it seems to be updated regularly; last update happened just recently, in August. The reason I found this handy little app was because a couple years back, my buddy @skehlet and I ran some quick scripts that would update Twitter from the command line. That ability to use my script broke after Twitter made some changes to how apps authorize (earlier last year, see this reference article). The secret to authorizing to or with Twitter now is to use oAuth, and I haven’t had time to learn a whole lot about it.

After my script broke, I went on the hunt for a new way to update twitter from the command line, but instead I found a full blown client. TTytter, a Twitter client for Perl. The application is pretty cool and you can get it setup quickly. You’ll need Perl though, if you don’t know what that is then stop reading now. This isn’t for you, I promise!

If you’re still with me, then you probably like torturing yourself with the command line,  just for kicks. So I’ll tell you that I installed TTytter on my on my Dreamhost account and bam! I was up and running with TTYtter. I had a fully interactive Twitter client in the cloud, on my Dreamhost server.

Now I don’t expect anyone to jump out of their seats with excitement about this, after all this isn’t a replacement to your current Twitter client, nor should you try it as such, this isn’t even new, but I am excited because I just discovered. But if I have you reading past my warning above, then you might find this tool to be pretty  amazing if you know how to use it. If you’re interested in automation, and automatic searches and those kinds of things this might just be the client for you.

Just like most good command line apps, this one does something and gives you ouput, apparently you can also feed it something else, like the output from another script. Get my drift?

I’ll let you read through all the guts over at their own website , but TTYtter could be that simple utility you can use to schedule updates from the command line, or via cron, or even automated tasks. I found it because I need to have a reliable way of updating a twitter account for a brand new project. I’ll let you know how my experience goes. This will also help our Liberam project that I mentioned a couple months back.

This isn’t for the casual user of Twitter, nor is it for the social media enthusiast, it really isn’t for anyone that likes their afternoons and sanity… unless he or she likes things like Vim or Emacs, Perl or Bash, or get excited about connecting via ssh to wget stuff.

Oh yeah, and TTytter gets props for reacting in an intelligent way when out of old habit, I issued an “exit” command while still in command line mode. Old habits die hard right?

TTytter – Twitter client for Perl – http://www.floodgap.com/software/ttytter/

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