Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Tech Twitterings via jQuery & Twitter

Several weeks ago, I decided to start a weekly blog entry compiling a list of my technical tweets from Twitter. After the second week, I noticed that it was taking me much too long to compile the list, so I decided to create a tool to make it easier.

My current solution involves several Firefox add-ons, jQuery, and Twitter. Eventually, it would probably be much easier if I used the Twitter APIs directly, but for now I have found this solution to be a fun learning exercise :)

Steps to Create the Tech Twitterings Entry
  1. Search for my technical (#tech) tweets from Twitter
  2. Use the Firefox AutoPager add-on to automatically load the next several pages to capture all the tweets from the last week.
  3. Use the Firefox Greasemonkey add-on and run the Load jQuery Library script to load the jQuery library onto the Twitter search page
Load jQuery Library
// ==UserScript==
// @name           Load jQuery Library
// @namespace
// @include*
// ==/UserScript==

//Code taken from
var GM_JQ = document.createElement('script');
GM_JQ.src = '';
GM_JQ.type = 'text/javascript';

function GM_wait() {
   if (typeof unsafeWindow.jQuery == 'undefined') { 
   } else { 
      $ = unsafeWindow.jQuery; letsJQuery(); 
function letsJQuery() {
   unsafeWindow.console.log('The jQuery Library has been loaded'); 
  1. Use the Firefox Firebug add-on and use it's console (F12) to run the jQuery Twitter Script
jQuery Twitter Script
$('li.result .msg .msgtxt .expand').remove();
var categories = new Array();
var categoryKeys = new Array();
$('li.result .msg .msgtxt').each(function(i,tweet) {
   var tweetText = $(tweet).text();
   var regularExpression = new RegExp('.*#tech.*(#\\w+).*', 'gi');
   var matches = regularExpression.exec(tweetText);
   if (matches != null) {
      var match = matches[1];
      if (categories[match] == null ) {
         categories[match] = new Array();
for (var i = 0; i < categoryKeys.length; ++i) {
   var categoryKey = categoryKeys[i];
   console.log('<h3>' + categoryKey + '</h3><ul>');
   var category = categories[categoryKey];
   for (var j = 0; j < category.length; ++j) {
      console.log('<li>' + category[j] + '</li>');
  1. Copy & Paste the contents from the console into Blogger
  2. Surround the auto-generated HTML content in a div and prepend the JavaScript to convert Text to Hyperlinks.
Text to Hyperlink JavaScript
<script type='text/javascript'>  
$(document).ready(function() {

function replaceUrlWithHtmlLinks(text) {
    var exp = /(\b(https?|ftp|file):\/\/[-A-Z0-9+&@#\/%?=~_|!:,.;]*[-A-Z0-9+&@#\/%=~_|])/ig;
    return text.replace(exp,"<a href='$1'>$1</a>"); 
<div id="tt4">
<!-- Insert Autogenerated jQuery Twitter HTML here... -->

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