Boston Python Workshop 3/Saturday/Twitter

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Use the Twitter API to write the basic parts of a Twitter client. See what your friends are tweeting, get trending topics, search tweets, and more.

Setup[edit]

See the Friday setup instructions.

Goals[edit]

  • Have fun playing with data from Twitter.
  • See how easy it is to programmatically gather data from social websites that have APIs.
  • Get experience with command line option parsing and passing data to a Python script.
  • Get experience reading other people's code.

Suggested exercises[edit]

  • Customize how tweets are displayed. Look at the Status and User classes in the Twitter code for inspiration; options include the URL for the tweet, how many followers the sender has, the location of the sender, and if it was a retweet.
  • Write a new function to display tweets from all the trending topics. Add a new command line option for this function.
  • The code to display tweets gets re-used several times. De-duplicate the code by moving it into a function and calling that function instead. Example prototype:
      def printTweet(tweet):
          """
          tweet is an instance of twitter.Status.
          """
          pass
    
  • [Long] A lot of the Twitter API requires that you be authenticated. Examples of actions that require authentication include: posting new tweets, getting a user's followers, getting private tweets from your friends, and following new people. Set up oAuth so you can make authenticated requests. http://dev.twitter.com/pages/auth describe how Twitter uses oAuth. http://code.google.com/p/python-twitter/ has examples of using oAuth authentication to make authenticated Twitter API requests.

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