I’m one of the few people on this planet still using the Twitter web interface. I just cannot be bothered with any of those Adobe Air clients, they seem too intrusive. Twitter isn’t so great that it deserves it’s own process in Windows (sorry Twitter!). Plus, if I was using a client I’d feel like I’d have to tweet about every tiny insignificant thing that happens, which, although it is the point in twitter, would be a massive waste of time!

There are a few things which annoy me about the web interface though. The worst thing by far is that it’s very slow and sometimes just doesn’t work. There are also some posting issues; if I have a really long link which I want to share, it won’t let me press the "update" button (because my tweet is now over 140 characters) – but I know that Twitter will convert the URL to a tinyurl which will surely result in a tweet shorter than 140 characters but Twitter still insists on disallowing this action!

Cannot update Twitter

I got really tired of this, twitter wouldn’t let me tweet even though shortened versions of posted URLs would fit into the 140 character limit quite nicely! Out of desperation I decided to create a cool little GreaseMonkey script which solves this problem.

You can install the script here – (Sorry, it’s Firefox only, duh!)

The new script uses Greasemonkey’s native GM_xmlhttpRequest (Cross-Domain savvy!) to request shortened URLs from the Reque.st API (recently developed). If you have a look at the source you’ll notice some of it’s a little bit "hacky" – I’m having to create a new invisible element over Twitter’s "update" button to capture a submission attempt – to be honest, this is just so much easier than messing with all Twitter’s event handling and existing functions; it’s an absolute minefield – they’ve got a wacky combination of Prototype, Scriptaculous & jQuery! (Cough! What can’t jQuery do by itself!? šŸ˜‰ )

How to use it:

Once you’ve installed it simply use Twitter as you would normally. If you type in a long URL which makes the tweet go over the 140 character limit then simply press "update" as you would normally. If the tweet is still too long after URL shortening then an alert box will show up notifying you. Any bugs can be reported here or on the UserScript.org page as a comment.

Thanks for reading! Please share your thoughts with me on Twitter. Have a great day!