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README
NAME
    App::Twirc::Manual - User guide and reference for Twirc

DESCRIPTION
    "Twirc" is a twitter client. More precisely, it is an IRC/Twitter
    gateway that makes your favorite IRC client a twitter client.

FEATURES
    Follow friends timelines
    Receive replies from friends and non-friends
    Post status updates
    Send and receive direct messages
    Follow, un-follow, block, unblock, and use most other twitter commands

INSTALLATION
    You can install "twirc" just as you would any other CPAN distribution:

        cpan POE::Component::Server::Twirc

    Or, you can download and unpack "twirc", then run it from a directory of
    your choice without running "make install". That's the way the author
    runs it. If you choose this option, run "make" to install "twirc"'s
    dependencies.

CONFIGURATION
    "Twirc" uses Config::Any, so you can configure "twirc" using XML, YAML,
    JSON, Apache-style configuration, Windows INI file format, or even Perl
    code.

    Here's a minimal configuration in YAML:

        irc_nickname: MyIRCNick
        twitter_username: my_email_address@example.com
        twitter_passward: secret
        twitter_screen_name: MyTwitterScreenName

  REQUIRED CONFIGURATION OPTIONS
    irc_nickname
        The irc nickname used by the owning user. This is the nickname *you*
        will use when you connect to the "twirc" IRC server.

    twitter_username
        The username (email address) used to authenticate with Twitter. This
        is the ID "twirc" will use to authenticate with Twitter.

    twitter_password
        The password used to authenticate with Twitter. This is the password
        "twirc" will use to authenticate with twitter.

    twitter_screen_name
        The user's Twitter screen name. This is *your* screen name on
        Twitter. It may very well be the same as your "irc_nickname", but it
        certainly doesn't have to be.

  OPTIONAL CONFIGURATION OPTIONS
    irc_server_name
        The name of the IRC server. Defaults to "twitter.irc". Every IRC
        server has a name. The IRC server included with "twirc" isn't
        intended to be accessed publicly. It is for your own personal use.
        So, the name is not significant.

    irc_server_port
        The port number the IRC server binds to. Defaults to 6667.

    irc_server_bindaddr
        The local address to bind to. Defaults to all interfaces. You
        probably want to set this option to 127.0.0.1. That will prevent
        others from attempting to connect to your "twirc" IRC server.

    irc_mask
        The IRC user/host mask used to restrict connecting users. Defaults
        to "*@127.0.0.1". If you run "twirc" on a different system than your
        IRC client, you will need to provide this configuration option with
        a suitable mask.

    irc_password
        Password used to authenticate to the IRC server. If you don't
        provide this option, no password will be required. It adds a bit of
        security. You may want to set this option if other users have access
        to your system.

    irc_botname
        The name of the channel operator bot. Defaults to "tweeter". Select
        a name that does not conflict with friends, followers, or your own
        IRC nick.

        When running "twirc", you interact with a bot in the channel. The
        bot carries out commands on your behalf and provides feedback,
        particularly when there are errors.

    irc_botircname
        Text to be used as the channel operator bot's IRC full name.
        Defaults to "Your Friendly Twitter Agent". This is the name that
        will appear in response to an IRC "/whois" command.

    irc_channel
        The name of the channel where your twitter friends' timelines
        appear. This is the channel where most of your interaction with
        "twirc" occurs. It defaults to &twitter. The IRC convention for
        channels names is channels local to a single server begin with "&".
        Network channels begin with "#". You can use either to name, however
        "&" is more appropriate.

    twitter_retry
        The number of seconds between polls for new status updates, replies,
        and direct messages. Defaults to 300 (5 minutes). Twitter imposes a
        rate limit of 100 API calls per hour. By default, after initial
        start up, twirc makes a single API call every "twitter_retry"
        seconds. Adding "check_replies" and "check_direct_messages" each add
        an additional API call. Setting "twitter_retry" too low can cause
        twirc to exceed the rate limit and delay receipt of messages.

        Use the "rate_limit_status" command to check your available API
        calls.

    twitter_retry_on_error
        The number of seconds to wait before retrying a failed twitter API
        call in the polling loop. Defaults to 60 (1 minute).

    twitter_alias
        An alias to use for displaying incoming status updates from the
        owning user. This is necessary if the user's IRC nickname and
        Twitter screen name are the same. Defaults to "me".

        With the default value "me", when "twirc" reads a status message in
        your timeline from your Twitter screen name, it will use "me" in
        place of your Twitter screen name in the channel.

    echo_posts
        If false, posts sent by "twirc" will not be redisplayed when polling
        the timeline. Defaults to 0 (false).

        This option in off, be default, to prevent some unnecessary noise in
        the channel. When you post a new status message with "twirc", you
        will see your post command, including your status message in the
        channel. Tweeter, the bot, will send your status update to twitter,
        and then set the channel topic to your message. If your IRC client
        displays notices, you will see your message a second time in status
        change. If this option is set to true, you will see it a third time,
        when "twirc" next polls Twitter for new status messages.

        So, why would you ever want "echo_posts" on? "Twirc" polls Twitter
        for new messages every 5 minutes, by default. So, there may be
        messages waiting and other messages received after your status
        update, but before "twirc" checks for new messages again. With
        "echo_posts" on, you will see your message again, in chronological
        order with the rest of the incoming messages.

    favorites_count
        How many favorites candidates to display for selection. Defaults to
        3.

        When you use the "favorite" command, a list of recent status from
        the friend your a favoriting are displayed for you to choose from.
        This option tell "twirc" how many of those messages to display.

    truncate_to
        When displaying a list tweets for selection, for example, in
        response to the "favorite" command, they will be truncated to this
        length to avoid cluttering the screen with long messages that wrap.
        Defaults to 60.

    check_replies
        Defaults to 0 (off). If set to 1 (on), checks for @replies when
        polling for friends' timeline updates and merges them with normal
        status updates. Normally, only replies from friends you are
        following are displayed, just like your home page on Twitter. This
        provides the display of @replies from users not followed.

        "check_replies" adds an API call, counted against Twitter's rate
        limit every "twitter_retry" seconds.

        (This also has the effect of adding senders of @replies to the
        channel, even though they are not followed.)

    check_direct_messages
        If true, checks for direct messages in each timeline polling cycle.

        "check_direct_messages" adds an API call, counted against Twitter's
        rate limit every "twitter_retry" seconds.

    log_channel
        If specified, twirc will post log messages to this channel. If you
        set this option to &log, then you can join the &log channel and see
        the copious debug messages that "twirc" generates. This may be
        useful for trouble shooting or problem reporting.

    state_file
        File used to store state information between sessions, including
        last message read for replies, direct messages, and timelines.

        By default, "twirc" does not save any state information between
        runs. When you start "twirc" it grabs the most recent 20 messages in
        the timeline and displays them, even if they are the same 20
        messages it displayed last time your ran "twirc".

        If you use "check_direct_messages" you will definitely want to use a
        state file so that you do not receive the same batch of direct
        messages every time you start "twirc".

        If you do provide a "state_file" name, "twirc" will save the last
        message ID it processed of each type (friends_timeline,
        user_timeline, replies, and direct messages). It won't redisplay
        messages it as already displayed on a previous run.

        "Twirc" will still only show the most recent 20 messages on restart,
        though. The "state_file" option just prevents redisplaying messages
        already seen.

    verbose_refresh
        Default 0 (off). If set, when a refresh (whether automatic or the
        result of the "refresh" command) finds no new messages, a notice to
        that effect will be written to the channel.

USING
    To use "twirc" you first need to start the server:

        bin/twirc -c twirc.yml -b

    The "-b" option runs "twirc" in the background. Drop the "-b" to see
    copious log messages to STDERR.

    Next, connect to the server from your IRC client. I use "irssi"
    (<http://www.irssi.org>) and my examples will use "irssi" commands:

        /connect localhost 6667 secret

    where "secret" is the password set in the config file with option
    "irc_password". Your IRC client may use different commands.

    On connection, "twirc" will automatically join you to the configured
    channel. The default &twitter will be assumed, here.

    Your friends will be automatically joined to the channel. Friends who
    are also followers are given voice as a visual clue. In "irssi" they
    appear with plus sign (+) in front of their names.

    To post a new status update, use the "post" command:

        post My first tweet from twirc!

    In general, you enter a command followed by its arguments, if any, as a
    public message in the channel. There's a handy exception to that rule
    for sending replies. An entry that begins with a nick name, followed by
    a colon is treated as a reply. E.g.:

        twirc: you make twitter usable!

    Is a shortcut for:

        post @twirc you make twitter usable!

    By default, "twirc" checks for updates every 5 minutes. You can have it
    check immediately using the "refresh" command:

        refresh

    "Twirc" will check for messages immediately, then again every 5 minutes.

    Use IRC private messaging to send direct messages. In "irssi":

        /msg friend Watch out, I'm right behind you!

    The "twirc" server stops when you disconnect. This isn't normal IRC
    behavior, but "twirc" isn't a normal IRC server. Its only purpose is to
    interface with Twitter on your behalf and server no useful purpose when
    you're not connected.

COMMAND REFERENCE
    post status
        Post a status update. E.g.,

            post Now cooking tweets with twirc!

    follow twitter_screen_name
        Follow a new Twitter user. This creates a friend relationship and
        adds the friend to the channel.

    unfollow twitter_screen_name
        Stop following a Twitter friend. This destroys the friend
        relationship and removes the friend from the channel.

    block twitter_screen_name
        Blocks the Twitter user from receiving your Twitter feed.

    unblock twitter_screen_name
        Stop blocking a Twitter user.

    whois twitter_user
        Displays information about Twitter user. "twitter_user" can be
        either a screen name or email address.

    notify on|off twitter_screen_name...
        Turns device notifications on or off for the list of one or more
        Twitter friends. The list is space separated.

    favorite friend [ count ]
        Mark a friend's tweet as a favorite. Optionally, specify the number
        of tweets to display for selection with "count". ("count" defaults
        to 3. The default can be changed with the "favorites_count" option.)

    check_replies on|off
        Turns reply checking on or off. See "check_replies" in
        configuration.

    check_direct_messages on|off
        Turns direct message checking on or off. See "check_direct_messages"
        in configuration.

    rate_limit_status
        Displays information about the remaining number of API requests
        available in the current hour. The "rate_limit_status" command does
        not count against the limit, itself.

    help
        Display a simple help message listing the available command names.

    verbose_refresh on|off
        Turns "verbose_refresh" on or off. See "verbose_refresh" in
        configuration.

TIPS AND TRICKS
  Ignoring
    If you're following a particularly noisy friend, you can of course
    "unfollow" her. Alternatively, you can use your IRC client's features to
    ignore the user. In "irssi":

        /ignore LoudMouth ALL
        /ignore -except -pattern @YourName LoudMouth ALL

    Now, you won't hear from LoudMouth unless she @replies you, and she
    won't know you're ignoring her (unless she reads this tip!).

  Multiple accounts
    Although "twirc" doesn't currently support multiple accounts, there's
    nothing stopping you from running multiple instances of "twirc", one for
    each account.

    Here's how I do it for accounts "semifor" (my personal account) and
    "twirc" ("twirc"'s feed for update notices, etc.).

    First, the pertinent sections of the configuration files (in YAML
    format).

        # File: semifor.yml
        irc_server_port: 6667
        irc_channel: '&twitter'
        irc_nickname: semifor
        twitter_screen_name: semifor
        state_file: semifor.state
        # ...

        # File: twirc.yml
        irc_server_port: 6668
        irc_channel: '&twirc'
        irc_nickname: twirc
        twitter_screen_name: twirc
        state_file: twirc.state
        # ...

    Next, start an instance for each account:

        bin/twirc -c semifor.yml -b
        bin/twirc -c twirc.yml -b

    In your IRC client, connect to both instances ("irssi" here):

        /connect localhost 6667 secret_password semifor
        /connect localhost 6668 secret_password twirc

    Now you've got 2 channels, one for each account---in my case, &twitter
    for "semifor" and &twirc for "twirc".

SUPPORT
    "Twirc" is free open source software with no warranty of any kind. That
    said, it's used by some competent perl coders who may be able to help if
    you have trouble. Try the #twirc channel at "irc.perl.org".

    The code repository with the development branch is located at
    <http://github.com/semifor/twirc>. New features, and bug fixes appear
    there before they hit CPAN, so check the commit log there to see if a
    problem you've found has been addressed. And feel free to use the
    development branch.

AUTHOR
    Marc Mims <marc@questright.com>

    I'm "semifor" on twitter and IRC.

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