Friday, March 30, 2007

Twitter posting bot implementation

This is a fast-and-dirty hack to enable posting to twitter. It uses Smack, the java library OpenFire (formerly WildFire) and Spark are built upon, and I used the same IDE (IntelliJ IDEA) which is used by Jive Software to implement their (wonderfully clean-coded) software.

Basic "disadvantages":

  • No bothering with config files (educational purposes) => account/password, admin hardcoded

  • Also, since educational purposes - public domain! (you'd modify an existing source to learn jabber anyway)

  • Uses apache's java HTTP client library - a simple auth to twitter and a POST

  • User binds twitter account by sending a register <twitterusername> <twitterpassword> message to the bot.
  • Doesn't save its state (bot stops => twitter account data lost)- could implement with Serializable markerinterface

  • Doesn't use session-handling: logs into twitter every time; normally, twitter api would need to remember session cookies for each user/pass and trying to simply post the status variable, and if fails (with errorcode 403 presumably), relogin and store session cookies again

  • No multithreading - if twitter is slow, the bot stops responding while doing HTTP query. Normally, at least two threads (one for the twitter api and one for the XMPP connection) should be used.

  • No selective presence/multiple resources/etc - load balancing could be done with bots with same accounts but different resources and probably selective presence/invisibility

You can download java sourcecode here.

The needed libraries - which aren't in public domain(!) - are boundled too.


Anonymous said...

Why not just send a message to twitter's own xmpp bot

Aadaam said...

because it wasn't available then.. remember "for educational purposes" :)

butlimous said...

Thanks for the nice post!

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Hamzah Khan said...


I'd just like to say thanks for your post.

I'm working on a small jabber bot for various things smacks aswell and I couldn't find any "full" working example of a bot made using smacks.

Your twitter bot has helped a lot.


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Anonymous said...

I just read the "disadvantages" and they are pretty cool, I tend to post a lot on twitter and I was looking for something like this. I was working on a Sildenafil version for twitter, but this is better!

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