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Two Unusual and Good Twitter Clients For Linux - page 2

Twidge is Lightweight, Fast, and Flexible

  • April 8, 2009
  • By David Harding

Tircd lets you pretend you're in an IRC chatroom with your Twitter friends. It takes more setup than Twidge, but gives you a more familiar interface in return. It supports friend subsets and Twitter searches, which Twidge doesn't, but it doesn't support Identi.ca, which Twidge does.

Tircd uses Perl and several Perl modules. Install Perl from your distribution and any of the following modules your distribution has packages for: POE, POE::Filter::IRCD, and Net::Twitter. Then run the following command after removing from it the names of any packages you installed: cpan -i POE POE::Filter::IRCD Net::Twitter. Download the Tircd package from the Tircd Homepage, run tar xzf on it, copy the tircd.pl file to /usr/local/bin/tircd, and make it executable with the following command: chmod +x /usr/local/bin/tircd.

Copy the tircd.cfg file to /etc/tircd.cfg. If you already run an IRC server on your computer's port 6667, change the port setting in the file. You probably don't need to change any other settings. Start Tircd by typing, tircd /etc/tircd.cfg.

Connect to Tircd using your IRC client and send your Twitter username and password. Different IRC clients use different connection commands. The Tircd manual suggests the command below which works in my IRC client:

/server localhost 6667  

Warning: if you don't install Tircd on the same computer as your IRC client, and you connect to it over the Internet, you will send your Twitter password unencrypted over the Internet where other computers may intercept it. At the very least, you should use a different password for Twitter than you use for your more secure accounts.

After you connect to Tircd, join the #twitter chatroom (channel) by typing, /join #twitter. The IRC channel topic, usually displayed near the top of your IRC client, shows the last update you sent to Twitter. Twidge adds each of your Twitter friends to the chatroom.

Send an update by sending a regular message in the #twitter channel. Your friends' updates and replies to your messages appear as regular messages in #twitter. Direct messages come in as IRC private messages and you can send a direct message by sending an IRC private message. Tircd does a great job of making Twitter transparent to IRC users.

Follow a new friend using the IRC /invite command. For example, you can follow Tircd's updates using the following command: /invite tircd. Stop following someone using the /kick command. You can also follow or unfollow users using Twitter's website, but the changes you make on the website won't appear in your #twitter channel right away.

One of Tircd's advanced features lets you create a channel and add only a few of your friends. To create a channel, /join it; to add friends, /invite them. For example: /join #clients, /invite tircd, /invite unixtwidge. Tircd sends updates for the friends you invite to both #twitter and to the channels you create.

Tircd's other advanced feature lets you create an IRC channel out of a Twitter search. Create a channel and set its topic to the search term. For example, to see all the twitter messages that mention LinuxPlanet, use the following two commands: /join #LinuxPlanet, /topic LinuxPlanet

Conclusion

If you won't miss your friends' graphical avatars and you don't mind learning a few new commands, Twidge and Tircd let you use Twitter in ways very different from the typical Twitter client.

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