27 Feb 2011

Ruby : Command-line twitter client made easy

Have you every told off that you’re playing in your work? Why do you have to open a browser twitter.com to be so obvious that you’re not doing your job well. Well, you can build a command-line twitter client very easy. So, you will be one of the geeks who use terminal all the time and your boss won’t know that you’re on twitter all the time.

I will start with installing Ruby and Gem, because I wanted to save time building this program from scratch as much as possible. So, a couples of useful gems would be really helpful.

if you’re new to ruby and use mac same as me, I suggest you install ruby by following this great article.

You can use a great application of all time like MacPort.

Ok! gem installed, ruby installed. Let’s start with installing some gems

gem install twitter_oauth

If you need to know what OAuth is, I suggest you read this great article http://hueniverse.com/2007/10/beginners-guide-to-oauth-part-i-overview/

Basically, OAuth is a helper to help you login to twitter.com without exposing or sending your login details over the Internet. It’s like public and private key. But If you’re doing for a single-user like me, then you don’t have to worry anything about this. You just need 4 keys to access twitter APIs.

First, you will need to register your app with Twitter. Go to this page and follow the steps. http://twitter.com/apps

Now you will need four keys to work, go to this page to get all those keys.

You will want, consumer_key, consumer_secret. You can get them from your application setting page, then click on My Access Token on the right-hand sided bar. Note down Access Token and Access Token Secret. Then you’re good to go.

#!/usr/bin/env ruby

require 'rubygems'
require 'twitter_oauth'

TWITTER_CONSUMER_KEY = 'Your Consumer Key'
TWITTER_CONSUMER_SECRET = 'Your Consumer Secret'
TWITTER_ACCESS_TOKEN = 'Your Access Token'
TWITTER_ACCESS_SECRET = 'Your Access Token Secret'

client = TwitterOAuth::Client.new(
  :consumer_key => TWITTER_CONSUMER_KEY,
  :consumer_secret => TWITTER_CONSUMER_SECRET,

case ARGV[]
 when "-l"
  timeline = client.home_timeline()
  timeline = timeline.reverse
  timeline.each{ |tweet| 
    puts tweet['text'] + " @FROM #{tweet['user']['name']}"
    puts "\n"
 when "-u"
  if ARGV[1].nil?
    puts "Please enter your status:"
    status = STDIN.readline.chomp
 when "-m"
  mentions = client.mentions()
  mentions = mentions.reverse
  mentions.each{ |tweet| 
    puts tweet['text'] + " @FROM #{tweet['user']['name']}"
    puts "\n"

This is just an example of my application which I use it on terminal. You can run the app by typing

ruby thenameofthisapplication.rb

or you can use symbolic link to /usr/bin and type


It’s totally up to you.

The Ruby API I used in this example is from this https://github.com/moomerman/twitter_oauth

And this is the Twitter API that you can have a look.

In this way, you can design your application to be whatever you want and when you’re at work, you’ll be on terminal on the time.

Good luck!

Til next time,
noppanit at 00:00