#fixreplies hack – shows what Tweets you’re missing

May 17, 2009
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UPDATE May 18 2009: fixed some bugs, removed Twitter API rate limit issues, and simplified usage to one simple HTML file

I put together a little hack that shows the tweets you’re no longer getting.

It’s pretty hacky and requires some manual labor to use, but some people may find it entertaining. I decided to do it all with Javascript so it requires nothing more than your own browser.  Also, that way I can provide all the code and let people see exactly how it works and perform whatever beautification they may want, etc.

Basically, it produces output like the following, showing the @reply tweets you didn’t see in your Twitter stream becaue you don’t follow the person the message is directed to.  In my case, it showed me 63 interesting tweets tonight. The output is something like this:

whatumissedv2

Each entry is shown with a link to the original Tweet on Twitter  so you can click to get the full details of the tweet.

How to use it

It is all in one HTML file: whatumissed.html.

You can copy and paste the above into a local file on your computer and open in your browser, or simply execute the version at mrblog.org directly (and “View Source” to see how it works):

http://mrblog.org/whatumissed.html

Notes:

  1. It should be pretty easy to turn off the diagnostic data if you like by using visibility: hidden for the “statusmsg” div in the html/script.
  2. There is no little CSS or other styling here – if you hack the code with cool CSS styling, please post back to me so others can benefit too.
  3. If you make other hacks to this code, or have other suggestions for me, please let me know.

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14 Responses to #fixreplies hack – shows what Tweets you’re missing

  1. May 18, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    I don’t understand. If they are @replies, they show up. But your image isn’t showing @replies – not sure what this program is supposed to be finding.

    I tried it, but I think it failed. i never got the Twitter icons you show. I got something like this:

    myFriends[258] = 11965332 screen_name: ChrisSpagnuolo
    url: http://search.twitter.com/search.json?q=from%3AChrisSpagnuolo+since%3A2009-05-17&callback=searchCallback
    found @ reply: ‘ChrisSpagnuolo: @BertDecker Thanks Bert.’
    adding ‘ChrisSpagnuolo: @BertDecker Thanks Bert.’ to results
    found @ reply: ‘ChrisSpagnuolo: @TheStickMonkey @dcardella @mediaman64 @karmakimmie Thanks for iPhone app recco’s.’

  2. May 18, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Dave,

    In the past, when people you follow posted a tweet, those tweets would appear in your updates at http://twitter.com/home (or API /statuses/friends_timeline).

    Last week, twitter changed things so that you no longer see tweets posted by the people you follow that are deemed to be “replies” to someone you do not follow. See this post for a more in-depth explanation: http://mrblog.org/2009/05/14/twitter-fixreplies-fiasco-is-telling/

    The “whatumissed” hack shows the tweets that Twitter isn’t showing you anymore. As to why it’s not working for you, let us know the browser you’re using.

    You might also try the version on the site here directly and ee if that works: http://mrblog.org/whatumissed.html

  3. ups
    May 19, 2009 at 11:41 am

    This is a great piece of software! Just 2 suggestions (I’ve not checked the code, so I have no idea if it is possible) 1) Grab “in reply to” link. 2) Recognize URLs and make them a link.

  4. May 19, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    Ups,

    Thanks. (2) is now done, thanks to some code from Simon Whatley
    http://www.simonwhatley.co.uk/parsing-twitter-usernames-hashtags-and-urls-with-javascript

    I’ll look into “in reply to” – I’m pretty sure it’s possible, but I’m not sure it’s appropriate for this little hack (might make it overly complicated – I wasn’t trying to build a whole Twitter client in Javascript 🙂 )

  5. May 19, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    Ups,

    It turns out the search API doesn’t provide “in reply to” so in order to show an “in reply to” link, it would require an additional API call per tweet, which would probably run a pretty big risk of hitting API limits – so I will leave an “in reply to” link hack as an exercise for the reader.

  6. ups
    May 19, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Thanks for the reply MrBlog.
    The “in reply to” would be difficult since it would rapidly hit the API count limit. It’s on twitters API roadmap but until then, no luck. http://apiwiki.twitter.com/V2-Roadmap

    I know that is not intended to replace Twitter but I’m finding myself to use it a lot!
    One enhancement I would like to try to implement: Auto-refresh with since_id parameter! 🙂

  7. May 19, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Auto-refresh with since_id should be doable.

    In terms of it becoming a real client, what would be really cool is as a greasemonkey script for the normal twitter.com site, but that would be a pretty large task.

    Perhaps a version that shows the full stream does make sense though, even in this somewhat crude form, jumping to twitter for other actions, etc. – in other words, not replacing all of Twitter.com but just an alternative “home” screen.

  8. May 19, 2009 at 3:33 pm

    One trick with an “Auto-refresh” by the way is you probably need to reload the script with a since_id parameter passed int he url or something due to the way the code works by adding new “

  9. May 24, 2009 at 9:19 am

    I hacked up “since_id” support – no auto-refresh, but that would not be too hard to add.

  10. September 14, 2009 at 12:20 am

    Hi,

    I’ve been using this since I discovered it a few weeks ago, but as of about a week ago it seems to be asking for Twitter API credentials and doesn’t seem to work without them.

    Thanks for your work on this.

    –Philip.

  11. September 17, 2009 at 10:26 am

    @follower I don’t see how this is possible. It’s just a static HTML file and Javascript. It’s got to be something else triggering the “credentials” request. Can you send a screenshot? Are you loading the HTML file from mrblog.org or a copy on your own host?

  12. September 25, 2009 at 2:57 am

    Thanks for your reply (which I missed until just now :).

    I’ve discovered the issue is a change to the API functionality as listed on September 10, 2009 on http://apiwiki.twitter.com/REST-API-Changelog which says “Fixed (REST): statuses/friends, statuses/followers, friends/ids, and followers/ids for protected users require proper authentication.”.

    I’m a user with non-public/protected updates so the page will no longer work for me unfortunately, without logging into the API page. If I do that it works. But ideally I don’t want to do that for an HTTP link, but I’m not sure if changing the URL in your code to HTTPS will work or not.

    –Philip.

  13. October 1, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    Yeah @follower, all bets are off if for accounts with non-public/protected updates. I forget that some people even have protected accounts on Twitter.

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