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Archive for September, 2008

Twammer, sending stuff from Twitter to Yammer

posted by Duncan at 8:12 pm on September 28th, 2008

I use Twitter. I don’t really post much, but I do like to dip in and hear what my friends are doing. Yammer is like a private Twitter for companies. We have just had a network set up for the BBC, which is interesting. Again, I like the idea of posting what I am doing and dipping into what other people are doing around the organisation.

So you can see my problem, I’m doubling up here a bit. When I post something to Twitter, and I think it would be relevant for work too, I don’t want to have to open a different interface and post it again. Now there are services like which will sync every site you belong to, but I what to decide what gets posted at work and what doesn’t in this instance. The simple answer is to build something that looks at my Twitter feed and if it sees anything new, then posts it off to Yammer. My friend Mr Humfrey does that very thing. I wanted more than this though, I wanted to filter, plus I wanted to make it easy to use, so I have written this very simple app that does the job:

  1. Read my Twitter feed every n minutes for changes
  2. Keep messages with my chosen keyword
  3. Remove keyword, and send off to Yammer

Twammer usage:

# Display help
./twammer -h
# check Twitter messages with last 5 mins (default)
# filter by #bbc but don't send anything to Yammer
./twammer -t 47983 -u user -p pass -f bbc -q
# check Twitter messages within last 10 mins
# send anything to Yammer. Show output
./twammer -t 47983 -u user -p pass -d 10 -v

This is designed to be run as a cron job. You must also make sure you run it at the same interval as the –delay in the app. Here’s what my crontab looks like:

0,5,10,15,20,25,30,35,40,45,50,55 * * * * /home/duncan/bin/twammer -t 47983 -u user -p pass -f bbc > /dev/null

[UPDATE] Changed to using the correct API instead of scraping the RSS

Now Next information for BBC Programmes

posted by Duncan at 12:48 pm on September 16th, 2008

Lots of feature patches are being committed at the moment on BBC Programmes which means lots of nice new stuff to talk about. Tom has mentioned a couple of the current batch, but I thought I’d reiterarte the upcoming stuff because it was work I was involved in.

The upcoming views are essentially Now/Next on the bbc. They are now exposed as Json, XML and Yaml as well as a fun txt view which Nic also implemented a while back on schedules. Below are many examples, so you get the idea.

To get now and next information for BBC 6 Music in XML:

To get now and next information for BBC 6 Music in Json:

To get now and next information for BBC One London in Json:

To get now and next information for BBC One London in txt:

[HINT]: If you use Firefox, you can type view-source: at the start of the urls below and they will stop the browser trying to download the file. This is useful for viewing the Json and Yaml views.

Is Chrome really just for Google

posted by Duncan at 9:22 am on September 3rd, 2008

So Google have just released their new web browser, Chrome (in beta on Windoze, other OS’s following soon). I’ve had a play and much like many other people have found it:

  • Lightning fast UI
  • Lightning fast JS execution thanks to V8
  • Lightweight, or at least it gives that impression as the UI is very, very simple
  • Stable *well this is to be seen, but each tab running with it’s own process should help*

Google Chrome

Now, I don’t think Google built this browser with the main intention of trying to compete with other browser vendors. I think they built it as a UI for all their web apps. If you want to use it to browse other websites, then obviously it does that just fine, but it has been optimised to make Google’s suite of web apps ( Gmail, Calendar, Docs etc ) run super smooth, like desktop apps, and with Gears you can work offline, like desktop apps. You can see this in the design; the V8 JavaScript Engine has been “specifically designed for fast execution of large JavaScript applications”, the fact that each tab runs in it’s own process. If you have Gmail in one tab, Calendar in the other, it’s the same as having two applications open, if one crashes the other one just keeps working fine. The simple UI design. It wants to be as simple as possible, if it’s just a frame for the application inside.

I think that people could end up using Chrome AND another browser in tandem, and just using Chrome for their web/desktop apps ( Email, Calendar etc ). I personally hate mixing my web browsing with email and calendar, it all gets so messy and I like to have that distinction.

I’d be interested in what other people think, and if/how they will use Chrome?

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