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Stream Spigot a collection of tools to make consumption of real time-ish datasources more manageable. For now two tools have been built:

  • Tweet Digest lets tweets be consumed in daily digests (ideally via a feed reader). This is useful for high-volume accounts that would be annoying to follow directly. Digests can be defined either with explicit lists of usernames or by using the built-in Twitter list functionality.
  • Feed Playback allows RSS/Atom feed content to be played back (Google Reader is used for historical data). This makes it easy to read a newly-discovered blog from the beginning in a manageable fashion.

A running instance is at

Code Organization and Design

The various tools (tweet digest, feed playback, etc.) are pretty distinct. Parallel directories are maintained in app and app/templates (e.g. app/tweetdigest and app/templates/tweetdigest). Within each tools the convention is to have a with all the HTTP request handlers and a with all the business logic (non-tool specific API bindings go into datasources, see below for more).

Base/utility code goes in app/base and app/templates/base.

UI JavaScript currently uses a checked in copy of Closure Lite but the plan is to switch to Plovr once needs become more complex.

The tweet digest component of the app was formerly known as Twitter Digest and used to run at A small "stub" App Engine app that redirects requests from there to is in twitter-digest-stub.

Datasources/API endpoints

Third-party API endpoints are in the datasources directory:

  • is the Python wrapper for the Twitter API provided by (version 0.8.1 with some small local modifications). It uses authentication even for requests for publicly-visible data so that we don't get rate-limited as often.
  • is a simple Python wrapper for the Google Reader "API" methdos that we need. Some methods require authentication; for now we don't act on behalf of users, instead the app has a few designated Google accounts that it stores data it.

For both Twitter and Google Reader, authentication is done via OAuth, the access tokens are stored in (the file is not checked in, but can be created based on the file with the help of and tested with

Helper scripts

The top-level Makefile file has a couple of helper commands, dev to run with the App Engine development server and deploy to deploy the app to production.


Flow control for the real-time web firehose




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