Snitter for AIR 1.0

Unfortunately, I haven't had much time to work on Snitter the past few weeks but with the relase of Adobe AIR 1.0 today, I've pushed live a new version that'll work. Head on over and check it out if you haven't already.

Snitter started out as a hobby project, done in my spare time, which has made it hard to respond to bug reports, feature requests, and other general help requests. It sucks as plenty of people have been so supportive of what I've put together. I can only say thank you for your support, morally and financially. It's awesome to see!

The market is getting dense

When I first started Snitter, I knew of Twitterrific but was surprised to find a whole collection of apps out there including a few built on AIR, namely Spaz and Tweetr. It's been interesting to see the progess of these apps and the direction each one has decided to go in. Twhirl came along with plenty of new features, too.

With that said, I've always had a vision for what I wanted to accomplish with Snitter and it's mostly been to scratch a personal itch. The only problem is that my own itch seems to be turning into a rash.

The recent version is halfway to what I've wanted. The coolest thing, in my opinion, is the local storage. Snitter saves every single tweet it receives into a local database. You can then use the filter button to search those old tweets. That's come in handy a few times to find stuff I or somebody else have said.

Another nice feature is the Search Tracking. You can specify a search term in the options and it'll pull in new results. It's like the tracking feature that Twitter offers up but that isn't available except through IM or SMS.

What are the future plans for Snitter?

There's two major features that I still want to incorporate into Snitter. Once this is done, I'll be focusing on bug fixes and attempt to reach an acceptable "beta" level. There's a reason I've called this alpha and it's because things are always changing. I'd definitely like to slow things down and make it as stable as possible.

Increase Local Storage

The next stage to local storage is storing the friends and followers. The biggest problem here is the 70 request limit. I can only pull in records 100 at a time. If you think of somebody like Scoble using the application, with almost 7000 friends and 7000 followers, it'd take 2 hours just to download the data AND he wouldn't be able to do anything else until then.

I'm hoping Twitter will relax on some of the request restrictions to make it easier to maintain this information. Once the data is stored locally, I'll be able to mix up that information in plenty of cool ways including auto-complete, filtering on friends list or followers list, and I want to add tagging, giving users a way to group contacts.

Theme Import

Right now, there's theme support but I have to add in new themes manually. I'd like to include an import tool where you could build and import your own themes. It's just a CSS file (and any associated images), making it really easy to hack up any way you want. Two themes that have turned out well is Milk and Wood which will make an appearance in an upcoming version of Snitter.

Jabber Support

Okay, I know I said two things but this sort of a third feature I'd like to add: Jabber Support. I'll mean I can tie into a user's IM account and receive tweets that way. This means I can avoid the 70 request limit and support Twitter's tracking feature.

Not enough hours in a day

Of course, there's not enough hours in a day and for a project I'm building in my free time, for which I've had very little of these days, it will take some time to get the application to where I want it to be.

Published February 25, 2008
Categorized as Adobe AIR
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10 Comments · RSS feed
Dave McNally said on February 25, 2008

Awesome! I resorted to using the web interface just over the past hour and was sick of seeing it again.

Glad to see Snitter development continuing - it definitely is the best desktop application out there for Twitter.

Craig Hockenberry said on February 25, 2008

The "not enough hours in the day" is exactly why we started running ads (and optionally taking payments.) We treat the product like any other client project with a budget now...

The time of talented individuals will never be "free." Sure there's a point where the intellectual/creative discovery outweighs the work involved, but once you're past that point, there has to be other incentives.


Marko said on February 25, 2008

Awesome that the wood theme is in the official version! I'm so excited! If anyone has some issues or some comments feel free to post em on the mcville site (link on my name) or just direct message me on snitter on @marko.
Kind regards

Jazza said on February 27, 2008

A couple of things I've noticed, on start up only shows a few tweets, and not the latest ones. If I change the filter to be "now, -8" it works (was -2 before). Also the "make link shorter" button brings up an AIR debug window

Jonathan Snook said on February 27, 2008

jazza: when it starts up, it'll show any previously received tweets and then it should initiate a call for new tweets. However, that call for new tweets seems to be somewhat unstable.

I noticed the debug window was there. I usually try to unhook that before launching but I forgot this time.

Amy Gahran said on February 29, 2008

What happened to the "replies" option? Used to be I could check snitter to see all tweets responding to me. Now it's not there. This is a pretty important feature for me. Can you bring that back quick?

- amy Gahran

Jonathan Snook said on February 29, 2008

@amy: You can still check for replies by using the filter option on the main timeline. Check out this screencast to see how the filtering works. With that said, it seems the resounding word is that nobody uses the filtering and so it'll in all likelihood be dropped in the next version, bringing back the simpler version.

Mark said on March 05, 2008

We are a group of freelancers that, at the time there is a stable verion of Adobe AIR for Linux available, most certainly will use any of the available Twitter clients to communicate. Hovever, we have noticed some problems with UTF-8 text during the test we have done. We have not tested Snitter yet, though. Adobe AIR is supposed to support UTF-8 as far as I can understand. Do you have any experieces with UTF-8 and characters like å, ä och ö?

Jonathan Snook said on March 06, 2008

I haven't any problems with UTF-8. Are you just using Flash or using the HTML control? With the HTML control, do you have the page set to and saved as UTF-8?

Mark said on March 10, 2008

We are using the HTML control. However, the pages were not saved as UTF-8 on one of the computers. Thanks for helping out.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post. If you have any further questions or comments, feel free to send them to me directly.