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Grapevine - Message Aggregator


Grapevine is a server for loading messages from various sources, aggregating and trending messages into topics, and then sending notifications for trending topics to Twitter.

Grapevine follows the rules of Semantic Versioning.


To install Grapevine, simply install the gem:

$ [sudo] gem install grapevine

And then install the DataMapper adapter you'll be using. By default, Grapevine will use a SQLite3 database at ~/grapevine.db. You can change this in the configuration file.

$ gem install dm-sqlite-adapter
$ gem install dm-mysql-adapter

Then run the grapevine command to manage your server.

$ grapevine start
$ grapevine stop
$ grapevine restart

Grapevine also comes with a command line interface to find more information on your messages and topics. The following commands are available:

$ grapevine load
$ grapevine notify
$ grapevine show messages
$ grapevine show notifiers
$ grapevine show notifier [NAME]
$ grapevine show sources
$ grapevine show tags
$ grapevine show topics
$ grapevine show topic [NAME]

For more information on each command, you can view the inline help:

$ grapevine help [COMMAND]


Grapevine has a pluggable architecture that allows any message sources to be matched up with any set of topic notification mechanisms.

Currently Grapevine supports the following sources:

  • twitter-trackback - Retrieves tweets for a given site.
  • twitter-github - Retrieves tweets associated with GitHub projects. Allows filtering of projects based on programming language.

And the following notification mechanisms are available:

  • twitter - Tweets a message to a specified account for the most popular aggregated topic at the moment. Frequency of tweets and windowing options can be specified.


Sources, notification mechanisms and other options can be specified in the ~/grapevine.yml file. Global configuration options for the API key and Twitter API consumer keys are listed at the top.

The following is an example configuration file:

database: mysql://user@pass:localhost/my_grapevine_db

bitly_username: johndoe
bitly_api_key: R_ae81e4e8ef7d10728725a57e90e1933

twitter_consumer_key: YpHAA9xFYruS06yk2Jvxy
twitter_consumer_secret: aMYXpyl4Sa89xx4YD5UwftkveuSfjtoDZlarJHR1ZHH

  - name: my_github_source
    type:  twitter-github
    frequency: 1h

  - name: github_js
    type: twitter
    username: github_js
    oauth_token: 1023929394-M8wtmerAMnI7ndH9x0ADzHTOWOD0sxx9UsjvgcxNNx
    oauth_token_secret: m6Ryi8h7Y6yBxa0x0ffsaWUybE2vrxx8a9sYFnDB9QFG
    source: my_github_source
    frequency: 1h30m
    window: 6M
    tags: [language:javascript]

  - name: github_rb
    type: twitter
    username: github_rb
    oauth_token: 310128260-VKGv2UDYMNF0x0A0fsfqZh3QwxiMkd0xfa0sf3vv
    oauth_token_secret: GAfa9xk6wyQ98mjXmXfrPN0as00zxkStjxdzwTlEt
    source: my_github_source
    frequency: 2h
    window: 8M
    tags: [language:ruby]

This configuration file sets up a single source to retrieve messages from Twitter that mention GitHub projects. It then sets up two notifiers to send out trending topics pulled from my_github_source that are tagged with the javascript and ruby languages, respectively. The Twitter authorization is specified for each notifier with the username, oauth_token and oauth_token_secret settings.

The frequency property sets how often topics will be sent out. In this example the github_js Twitter account will send out every hour and a half while the github_rb Twitter account will send out every two hours. The window property specifies how long until a trending topic can be mentioned again. In this example, topics can be mentioned again six months after their last mention.

The frequency and window properties are time periods that can be defined in a short hand. The following are the available time periods:

  • y - Years
  • M - Months
  • w - Weeks
  • d - Days
  • h - Hours
  • m - Minutes
  • s - Seconds


OAuth is not an easy process for people who are not familiar with it. Luckily, there is Authoritarian.

To start, register your Twitter application here:

Twitter Developers

Then install Authoritarian and add your application:

$ gem install authoritarian
$ authoritarian add application
# Follow the prompts

You can find your Consumer Key and Consumer Secret on your Twitter application's page at the Twitter Developers site mentioned above.

Next add the Twitter users you want to authorize:

$ authoritarian add user
# Input your username and password

Once you've added all your users, you can find the OAuth token and token secrets by listing all your users:

$ authoritarian show users --all

Simple copy the consumer token and secret to your Grapevine configuration.


If you'd like to contribute to Grapevine, start by forking the repository on GitHub:

Then follow these steps to send your changes:

  1. Clone down your fork
  2. Create a topic branch to contain your change
  3. Code
  4. All code must have MiniTest::Unit test coverage.
  5. If you are adding new functionality, document it in the README
  6. If necessary, rebase your commits into logical chunks, without errors
  7. Push the branch up to GitHub
  8. Send me a pull request for your branch