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App::Twirc::Manual - User guide and reference for Twirc
"Twirc" is a twitter client. More precisely, it is an IRC/Twitter
gateway that makes your favorite IRC client a twitter client.
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
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
"Twirc" uses Config::Any, so you can configure "twirc" using XML, YAML,
JSON, Apache-style configuration, Windows INI file format, or even Perl
Here's a minimal configuration in YAML:
irc_nickname: MyIRCNick
twitter_password: secret
twitter_screen_name: MyTwitterScreenName
The irc nickname used by the owning user. This is the nickname *you*
will use when you connect to the "twirc" IRC server.
The username (email address) used to authenticate with Twitter. This
is the ID "twirc" will use to authenticate with Twitter.
The password used to authenticate with Twitter. This is the password
"twirc" will use to authenticate with twitter.
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.
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.
The port number the IRC server binds to. Defaults to 6667.
The local address to bind to. Defaults to all interfaces. You
probably want to set this option to That will prevent
others from attempting to connect to your "twirc" IRC server.
The IRC user/host mask used to restrict connecting users. Defaults
to "*@". If you run "twirc" on a different system than your
IRC client, you will need to provide this configuration option with
a suitable mask.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
The number of seconds to wait before retrying a failed twitter API
call in the polling loop. Defaults to 60 (1 minute).
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.
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.
How many favorites candidates to display for selection. Defaults to
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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"
(<>) 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:
"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.
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
check_direct_messages on|off
Turns direct message checking on or off. See "check_direct_messages"
in configuration.
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.
Display a simple help message listing the available command names.
verbose_refresh on|off
Turns "verbose_refresh" on or off. See "verbose_refresh" in
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
# 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".
"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 "".
The code repository with the development branch is located at
<>. 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.
Marc Mims <>
I'm "semifor" on twitter and IRC.
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