twhirl 0.8.6 - adding laconi.ca support, fixing bugs


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Last Friday, we released a preview version of twhirl that supports generic laconi.ca installation. If you haven’t heard of laconi.ca yet, it’s an open source microblogging server software, and it powers the identi.ca microblogging site that twhirl already supported before. Also, this version of twhirl catches up with some changes in the Twitter API, so that you can now again (un)follow people in twhirl, or make tweets your favorites. And finally, if you use Dustin Salling’s IdentiSpy service, you can now see tracked messages from identi.ca in twhirl!

laconi.ca

twhirl started supporting the identi.ca microblogging site with the last official release some weeks ago. Since then, many users have approached us to add generic support for any laconi.ca based site to twhirl, so they could use it with their favorite (or own) laconi.ca microblog. As a Twitter-compatible API is now part of the laconi.ca distribution, this turned out to be straight forward. With Leo Laporte setting up his TWiT Army Canteen, we found a great partner to run a solid beta test of the new feature, and provided a preview version before we officially pushed an official update.

We got great feedback from the community about our preview version. The most important new feature we added based on that is the ability to see the public timeline for laconi.ca sites (including identi.ca), as this was requested very often. In addition, many small things were improved behind the scenes.

Add a laconi.ca account

Here are the instructions how to add a laconi.ca account to twhirl, taken from our previous post:

  • open the accounts dialog (click on the top left hand twhirl icon in a twhirl window)
  • select “laconi.ca” from the drop-down list at the bottom left hand corner
  • enter your username and the laconi.ca-site’s domain as your screen name. Example: to add the account “twhirl” on the http://army.twit.tv, you would need to enter “twhirl@army.twit.tv”. Don’t include the http:// part, just use the domain name
  • Press Return or click the “+” button to add the account
  • select the new account in the list and click on “Connect” to open a window for this account

add-laconica.jpg

If the site you are using supports sending updates via XMPP, you can add your GTalk or Jabber account, too. Open the account’s configuration, navigate to the “Network” tab, and enter your GTalk or Jabber ID (for GTalk, use the full Gmail address!), your password, and the Jabber server you use (for GTalk users: talk.google.com).

View the public timeline

To view the public timeline, click on the new button right to “Home” in the button bar at the bottom. By default, twhirl will automatically update the public timeline together with your user timelines. If you don’t like that, you can disable this on the “Network” tab in the account’s configuration.

public-timeline.jpg

Restrictions of the Twitter-compatible API

The Twitter-compatible API does not reflect all federation features laconi.ca has, so there might be some things not working perfectly, e.g. if you receive replies from people on other laconi.ca sites. We are working with the laconi.ca team to get more and better support for federation soon.

IdentiSpy

twhirl now also supports incoming messages tracked via the popular IdentiSpy service by Dustin Sallings. Just use the same account for IdentiSpy that you added to twhirl, and you will see the tracked updates with a small “flame” icon in the top right hand corner. Should you not want to see your tracks in twhirl, please disable the “show tracked messages” option on the Network tab.

laconica-jabber.jpg

Twitter API catch-up

Due to security concerns, Twitter needed to change some behavior in their API. This caused problems in twhirl for some actions, e.g. when you tried to follow or unfollow other users, or were trying to favor a tweet. With this release, these issues have been resolved, and all actions on Twitter should be working again now.

How to get it?

As usual, we will make the new version available through the automatic update process, so twhirl will find out about the new release the next time you start it. To manually install this version, please go to the twhirl website and use the installation badge in the “Get twhirl” box.


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