After a few late night mods the Thermal Tweeter is super responsive. We swapped it over to the authenticated feed instead of the public search. Send us a tweet @dangerousproto and you should see it on the live stream within 60 seconds.
Here’s some tasty development morsels:
- There’s a 36 second USTREAM delay between the tweet printing and the video in our browser.
- There’s some delay in Twitter’s public search API. Tons of @mentions showed up in Tweetdeck, but only a trickle showed up in the public search used by the printer. It could be a search cache, spam prevention, system architecture, lazy gnomes, who knows. It works fine if there are only a few mentions, but when there are a lot Twitter seems to get selective about who to include.
- Last night we implemented a cheat to access the authenticated feed. There wasn’t time to implement proper oAuth access on the web platform, so we used a small PHP script to authenticate with Twitter and pass the @mentions feed in a format we can deal with.
- The @mentions JSON feed is formatted differently than the public search results. For example there are several different ID tags that confuse our brain-dead parser. With no time to implement a proper JSON parser, we used a PHP library to decode the feed and then only include the tags we need. This led to some interesting character encoding problems – thanks to @bertjwregeer for helping us work them out.
In our opinion the current setup is cheating. The goal is to integrate with the actual Twitter API, a stand-alone Twitter appliance, but we’re using a second server to authenticate and pre-process the data.
The original setup works fine for a moderate number of @mentions. However when there are a lot @mentions, Twitter seems to get choosy and that doesn’t make for a very satisfying interactive internet art experience.
The pile of Tweets after the first 24 hours.