Setting up radioReallySimple.root

Last weekend I decided it was time to throw in the towel on my vow to not write any more Twitter apps, and wrote a simple app that does what TwitterFeed does. It creates a connection between feeds and Twitter accounts. Why? TwitterFeed is great, but it can take up to 1/2 hour for it to push an item from a feed to Twitter. In a real-time world, that’s too slow for some applications.

So I wrote what I thought of as a Fractional horsepower TwitterFeed. It could never carry the load that TwitterFeed does, it wasn’t designed to. But it can follow a couple hundred feeds with an average of five minutes between the time it was posted to the feed and the time it appears on Twitter. Further if the feed supports rssCloud, there is almost no wait. At most a few seconds.

How it works

1. Install a copy of radioReallySimple.root on your server, and then configure your copy of Radio2 to link to it. There will be a little blue Twitter icon under the edit box. When you click on it, it will connect to your radioReallySimple.root server.

2. A page loads on your radioReallySimple.root server, but almost immediately it redirects to Twitter’s OAuth page. If the user grants permission to write to his or her Twitter account, the connection is then set up on your radioReallySimple.root server.

3. When the feed updates, radioReallySimple.root detects it, and posts the new items to Twitter. Just leave it running.

To the user it appears as if Radio2 is talking directly to Twitter, even though there’s an intermediary.

How to set up

1. From the Tools Catalog page click on the Install link next to radioReallySimple.root. Click on OK to all confirmation dialogs.

2. Log on to your Twitter account. Choose Settings, then Connections. Screen shot.

3. In the right margin you’ll see a section for Developers, click the link to visit the Apps page.

4. At the bottom of the page is a link to Register A New Application. Now you have to come up with a name and a description. You can change this alter, but your users will see this, so try not to scare them. For the application website, you might want to write a blog post and link to it there. Your Application Type is “Browser.” The Callback URL is http://yourdomain.com/callbackFromTwitter where “yourdomain.com” is the domain you’re going to map to the website (in step 7 below). Your Default Access Type is Read & Write. You are not using Twitter for login.

5. After you register your application you’ll see a page with several strings on it. You’re going to copy those strings into the config.root. They identify your app to Twitter. In this screen shot I’ve hidden the strings for my app.

6. In the OPML Editor, navigate to config.radioReallySimple.prefs.oAuth. I’ve set up the URLs for you, but over time they might change, so read the page on twitter.com carefully to be sure. Then copy the fields from the twitter.com page into the prefs table, carefully. This information is essential for communicating with Twitter.

7. Again in the OPML Editor, navigate to config.mainResponder.domains, and enter the domain name for your radioReallySimple.root app in the first column and @radioReallySimpleWebsite in the second. Test the domain in a browser to be sure you can get there.

8. Finally on the machine that’s hosting Radio2, navigate to config.radio2.prefs.domainRadioReallySImpleApp and change it to point to your server.

With any luck you’re now in business. :-)

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