Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Twitter via RSS: More Problems, More Solutions

I previously wrote about how the Twitter 1.1 API dropped support for Atom and RSS, making it a PITA to get feeds for Twitter timelines in a feed reader. (As an aside, I switched feed readers - again - a while back. I'm now using InoReader. I can't recall if I've mentioned that since I made the change.) Since that post, two of the solutions I came up with have run into problems. The Twitter RSS service is apparently gone: surfing to yields a page saying the domain name expired on February 6 of this year. I was also pulling some feeds from, which now produces a "service unavailable" error.

After a bit of surfing, I found a solution posted by Amit Agarwal (@labnol), titled "A Simple Way to Create RSS Feeds for Twitter". Simple is in the eye of the beholder, but it works, and there's a learning curve effect (creating the second, third, ... feed gets progressively faster). It uses a Google Script run under your account, which makes me nervous for a couple of reasons. First, it creates another failure point if Google decides to discontinue support for user scripts. (Remember the late, lamented Google Reader?) Second, the script has to be configured so that anyone can run it, but it runs under your account. The script looks pretty benign to me, and it's unlikely anyone else would stumble over the correct URL to run it, but on general principles I get a bit nervous being this permissive.

Anyway, the instructions are in Mr. Agarwal's post, and they are quite clear, so I shall not repeat them here. I've replaced four feeds so far, and things seem to be working ... for the moment ...

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