Monday, March 15, 2010

The Middleman knows your name!

I modified @fakemiddleman so that some quotes can contain place holders to be filled in while running. The only one that I've implemented is a name token that gets replaced with the screen name of someone who follows @fakemiddleman. The code for creating a list of all the users that follow you was new to me and I thought I'd post a version of it here as an example. The function returns a random follower and rebuilds the list of followers any time the number of followers that the user has doesn't match the length of the local list. The list is built by paging through with a cursor. The cursor is required for long lists of followers since there's a maximum number of records that will be returned on each request.

import twitter, random

def get_name():
    global FOLLOWERS
    api = twitter.Twitter("user", "pass")
    num_followers =\
                      screen_name =\
    if num_followers != len(FOLLOWERS):
        FOLLOWERS = []
        next_cursor = -1
        while next_cursor != 0:
            res = api.statuses.followers(\
            for u in res['users']:
            next_cursor = res['next_cursor']
    if len(FOLLOWERS) == 0:
        return "Dubbie"
    return random.choice(FOLLOWERS)

P.S Does anyone know a good way to format code snippets for posting on a blog?

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Just a quick note about my latest twitterbot. I was watching The Middleman and found that the longer I watched the more I started sounding like the Middleman. To preserve the good will and sanity of   my friends I've decided to externalise my quote making by creating @fakemiddleman a twitterbot that every couple of hours will regurgitate a piece of the Middleman's genius.

I won't bother posting the code since it's just a simplified version of @talklikewarren which I discuss the design and provide the code for here. The data source is just a flat text file of quotes grabbed from Wikiquote and some episode transcripts I found on the web.

I'll try and make my next twitterbot more useful or have some other clever characteristic that makes it more worth a blog post. In other news I have about 4 or 5 blog posts worth of material in my notes and they'll be up as soon as I sit down and start writing.