Twitter Tools 3.0 FAQ

Wherein I attempt to answer some of the more common questions I’ve seen surrounding yesterday’s launch of Twitter Tools 3.0.

Why am I forced to use the Social plugin to use Twitter Tools?

I assure you, no one is forcing you to do anything.

Why is Twitter Tools now dependent on Social?

When Twitter moved to OAuth it caused the user experience for installing Twitter Tools to take a huge nose dive. Social solves the problem of how to connect a Twitter account in a more user-friendly way (standard OAuth flow to the “app” that MailChimp hosts for us).

One of the main tenets of Open Source is “don’t solve problems that have already been solved”. So Twitter Tools integrates with Social to leverage this feature.

Why doesn’t Twitter Tools do broadcasting anymore?

See above – Social includes really nice broadcasting features so Twitter Tools doesn’t need to replicate that functionality.

But I don’t want to use [Feature X] of Social!

Turn it off! You can disable (individually) the following Social features from the settings screen:

  • comment display (includes logging in with Twitter/Facebook to comment)
  • checking for reactions on Twitter/Facebook
  • broadcasting
  • etc.

Do you know that X bug exists in Social?

A number of bugs have recently been fixed in Social for an upcoming 2.6 release. We haven’t got everything wrapped up, but this does address “auto-broadcasting” for XML-RPC posts and posts by email, among other changes.

Grab version 2.6rc2 if you want to try it out.

Why release Twitter Tools before Social 2.6 is ready?

Yesterday Twitter shut off the old API endpoints that the previous version of Twitter Tools was using. Since the new version was ready to go, it seemed like a better idea to release it and follow up with Social shortly thereafter than leaving Twitter Tools in a completely broken state.

Are Twitter Tools and Social compatible with the current Twitter API?

Yes.

What about the upcoming Twitter 1.1 API changes?

Twitter Tools is ready as of version 3.0, Social will be ready with the 2.6 release. Adding in those changes is what has delayed the new version of Social.

How do I integrate a shorturl service?

Social’s broadcasting feature uses the standard WordPress short URL API; so any URL shortening plugin can be used. This is outlined in the Social documentation.

What happened to the digest feature?

It never worked right and wasn’t something I used, so it’s cut. There are alternatives out there, or someone could pretty easily use the underlying data and features of Twitter Tools to script this up as a separate plugin. Everyone is better off if someone who cares about the feature is the one maintaining it.

You talk about new features in Twitter Tools but all I see is things taken away – what gives?

Twitter Tools 3.0 has a ton of new (and often requested) features:

  • ability to connect multiple accounts
  • ability to edit/delete tweets
  • clean architecture using custom post types and taxonomies
  • ability to browse tweets on your own site
  • compatible with current API (and proposed 1.1 changes)
  • ability to send different broadcasts to each account (or multiple different broadcasts to a single account) – via Social
  • freedom to create whatever broadcast format you like (remove the required “New Blog Post:” prefix)

Why do tweets need upgrading?

Since the data is being stored differently (to match current WordPress best practices), the old data needs to be converted to the new format.

Why aren’t my new tweets coming in?

Make sure you’ve enabled Twitter Tools for the accounts you want it active for on the Settings page. This is required because of the new feature to support multiple accounts.

Why didn’t you test this before you released it?

It’s been working great on my site (and a few friends’ sites) for months now. I released two betas and a release candidate for testing.

Something is broken for me, how do I get help?

First let’s be clear that Twitter Tools is non-commercial GPL software provided with no support whatsoever. From the license:

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

I created it because it is something I wanted, and I polished it up and released it because I thought others might want to use it. My feelings will not be hurt if it doesn’t work for you, for whatever reason.

That said, I certainly want to fix bugs, so if you think you’ve found a problem here are two ways to get me to look at it:

  1. Fix it create a pull request on GitHub.
  2. Send a description of the problem including observed behavior, expected behavior, information about your server and WordPress environment and detailed steps to reproduce.

I relied on [feature X] that doesn’t appear to be part of Twitter Tools 3.0 or Social, what do I do?

Write some code or find an alternative! Or, y’know, whine about it on Twitter… ;)

This post is part of the following projects: Social, Twitter Tools. View the project timelines for more context on this post.