The Twitter API v2 Transition

It’s a mess around the current working copy of the Twitter API, there are more issues than functionality and the whole naming and renaming is a total disaster. Today for instance I tried a simple search query to the API and kept receiving “400 Bad Request” errors without any further explenation. As soon as I changed the address from search.twitter.com to api.twitter.com/1 (I got this from Abraham Williams’ php code), which is not clearly mentioned anywhere in the Twitter docs, everything started working fine.

But then I realised that the from_user_id field that’s being returned is far from the correct user ID. People in the Twitter Development Talk Google group stated this problem a few times (since March 2009 I believe). It seems that the “wrong” user IDs are meant for the second version of the Twitter API, thus cannot be used before it’s released. But wait! What the hack should I do with my app now? It’s not working y’know! Here you go:

$response = $oauth->get('search', array('q' => $search_query));
foreach($response->results as $result)
{
$id = $result->id;
$text = $result->text;
$user_name = $result->from_user;

$user = $oauth->get("users/show", array("screen_name" => $user_name));
$user_id = $user->id; // Get the old-style user ID
}

Yeah, that’s one extra API call, but it solves things temporarily ;)

I guess there’s nothing that we could really do right now, and it’s probably true that we’ll have to rewrite some parts of our code as soon as Twitter API v2 is released, but then again, what about the apps which stopped development? Will they stop working? Tonnes of Twitter clients and web apps still use basic authentication. Twitter mentioned that everybody must use OAuth these days, and that basic auth will be closed sooner or later.

Oh well, software comes, software goes. The best thing to do right now would be sign up to Twitter API Announce Google group and follow @twitterapi. By the way, @web2feed can now use the new features of the API to retweet messages based on hashtags and build user lists ;)

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