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im.dico.t2

t2

t2 is both a Node.js module and command line client for Twitter. It owes its name to sferik/t: another incredibly useful command line client for Twitter that I have been using for a long time and I am still using while t2 is in development. A lot of its work also comes from the need to refactor an older project of mine, twitter2rss that had grown into a little monster and needed some serious simplification.

Differently than other Twitter libraries for Node.js, t2 was written to be smart about rate limiting and data use in general, support for which are built in. Note that the rate limiting has not been extensively tested yet, so do not take for granted that a heavy use of t2 won't end up in actually breaking it.

At the moment of writing, t2 only supports APIs that "read" content (the "GET" ones).

To install:

$ npm install im.dico.t2

t2cli

t2cli is t2's command line tool. In order to keep it as simple as possible, it mimics the syntax of the APIs it wraps, rather than having its own commands and options. The general usage in fact is:

$ node t2cli.js <twitter_api_name> [twitter_option] [twitter_option] ... [t2_option] [t2_option] ...

where:

  • twitter_api_name is the Twitter API name as you see them listed at https://dev.twitter.com/rest/public/rate-limits, e.g. lists/list;
  • twitter_option is one of the options the specified API supports, e.g. --user_id giacecco, and
  • t2_option is one of the t2 specific options, e.g. consumerkey, consumerkey, consumersecret and tokenkey for the credentials to use to connect to the Twitter servers.

When not specified on the command line, t2cli attempts reading the credentials from the user environment in the variables TWITTER2RSS_CONSUMER_KEY, TWITTER2RSS_CONSUMER_SECRET, TWITTER2RSS_ACCESS_TOKEN_KEY and TWITTER2RSS_ACCESS_TOKEN_SECRET.

The --post t2 option can be used to run one or more transformations over the API results, before displaying, expressed as a synchronous or asynchronous JavaScript function. E.g. a very useful transformation is --post 'r => r.map(x => JSON.stringify(x)).join("\n")' that makes one JSON array of objects - as in the results of the original lists/list API - into JSONL: one JSON object per line. --post can also reference a text file with the code you want to execute on the results.

In the example below, for example, we fetch the lists that belong to user @dicoim, pick the third list only, and transform the output from JSON to JSONL.

$ node t2cli.js lists/list --user_id dicoim --post 'r => [ r[2] ]' --post 'r => r.map(x => JSON.stringify(x)).join("\n")'
{"id":756036774724571100,"id_str":"756036774724571136","name":"next economy","uri":"/dicoim/lists/next-economy","subscriber_count":0,"member_count":26,"mode":"public","description":"See https://github.com/Digital-Contraptions-Imaginarium/newsbeuter-configuration","slug":"next-economy","full_name":"@dicoim/next-economy","created_at":"Thu Jul 21 08:03:08 +0000 2016","following":true,"user":{"id":14214993,"id_str":"14214993","name":"DiCo.Im","screen_name":"dicoim","location":"London, UK","description":"We are Digital Contraptions Imaginarium: a small and independent tech consultancy firm in London, UK, that brings tech, people and data together.","url":"https://t.co/V0ymu49mBn","entities":{"url":{"urls":[{"url":"https://t.co/V0ymu49mBn","expanded_url":"https://dico.im","display_url":"dico.im","indices":[0,23]}]},"description":{"urls":[]}},"protected":false,"followers_count":869,"friends_count":1320,"listed_count":180,"created_at":"Tue Mar 25 12:26:56 +0000 2008","favourites_count":2409,"utc_offset":0,"time_zone":"London","geo_enabled":false,"verified":false,"statuses_count":1851,"lang":"en","contributors_enabled":false,"is_translator":false,"is_translation_enabled":false,"profile_background_color":"000000","profile_background_image_url":"http://abs.twimg.com/images/themes/theme1/bg.png","profile_background_image_url_https":"https://abs.twimg.com/images/themes/theme1/bg.png","profile_background_tile":false,"profile_image_url":"http://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/756014052225212417/VtssPRWk_normal.jpg","profile_image_url_https":"https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_images/756014052225212417/VtssPRWk_normal.jpg","profile_banner_url":"https://pbs.twimg.com/profile_banners/14214993/1469083399","profile_link_color":"DB5A3D","profile_sidebar_border_color":"000000","profile_sidebar_fill_color":"000000","profile_text_color":"000000","profile_use_background_image":false,"has_extended_profile":false,"default_profile":false,"default_profile_image":false,"following":false,"follow_request_sent":false,"notifications":false,"translator_type":"none"}}
$

The same can be achieved by referencing the JSONArray2JSONL.js example script in the utils folder.

$ node t2cli.js lists/list --user_id dicoim --post 'r => [ r[2] ]' --post utils/JSONArray2JSONL.js

In this other example we search for the most recent tweets with the word "trump" in them, drop all the metadata and display just the text:

$ node t2cli.js search/tweets --result_type recent --q trump --post 'r => JSON.stringify(r.statuses.map(s => s.text))'
["RT @metesohtaoglu: #ABD Başkanı Trump,Kızılderililerin tepki gösterdiği #Dakota Boru Hattı inşaasına onay verdi\n#DakotaKızılderilileriYalnı…","RT @parool: Arjen Lubach: 'Satirische programma's zijn naast de zonen van Trump de enigen die baat hebben bij zijn aantreden' https://t.co/…","RT @SocialPowerOne1: Lindsey Graham Tells Trump To Put Up Or Shut Up On 'Illegal' Votes https://t.co/Y6v3KB7Chx","RT @cliffiroanya: @RepRibble #Biafrans celebrating President Trump massacred by Nigerian soldiers, see picture and ABC News: https://t.co/W…","RT @ChriStylezz: Can y'all please look at Melania face when Trump turns around 😭😭😭 https://t.co/UkpOnRS7S5","RT @MightyBusterBro: CROWD SIZE IS NEWS\nBECAUSE CNN LIES\nMADE IT NEWS.\n1Min Streamlined Report adapted from InfoWars\n\n#FakeNews #POTUS #Ina…","No longer will your taxpayer money be paying for Planned Parenthood to perform... https://t.co/OxNoQReqyi by #elohimis1 via @c0nvey","RT @ABC: Bernie Sanders: \"The great political and democratic crisis we face...is not voter fraud, it is voter suppression\" https://t.co/eZU…","RT @TheDemocrats: Trump can't silence the fact that climate change is real. https://t.co/vaTTImzjRG","RT @ananavarro: I hoped some seasoned operatives around Trump would stop him from making crap up. Help him act sane. Instead, he's making t…","RT @AmyMek: America's President! \n\nTraditionally Democrats, Unions across USA praise President Trump on the Keystone XL, Dakota Access pipe…","@Endoracrat @BFahrland This is what I find troubling Hillary really did win but instead of the Democrats fighting for her they let trump in","Day four of Trump and he's already fucking up. #NoDAPL \nThis is not what the people want! #IStandWithStandingRock","RT @a_meluzzi: Orban: “Con Trump finisce il multilateralismo, bisogna ritornare all’Europa delle nazioni” - La Stampa https://t.co/8R7aYICG…","@nut_bunnies SICK BURN! NO I'M LITERALLY BURNING BECAUSE TRUMP DESTROYED THE ECOSYSTEM AND OH GOD MY SKIN'S MELTING"]
$

You can write the same in an asynchronous fashion, as in:

$ node t2cli.js search/tweets --result_type recent --q trump  --post '(r, callback) => callback(null, r.statuses.map(s => s.text))'

Note that, to do a good job, you often need to know the exact format of the response you get from the native Twitter API, e.g. in the second example all the results are found in an array named statuses. This is also why t2 is useful, as caching and rate limiting allow you to repeat the same request with different --post arguments without the need to fetch the live data again every time or worrying of breaking the limits on the API usage.