You know you are addicted to Facebook when…

So you think you are not addicted to Facebook? And you use it like just another tool and for fun. You are wrong. Facebook has become part of our life and our day just does not completes if we don’t see our friends updates on Facebook. Read the following and your thoughts will be changed. So, here goes my list of you know you are addicted to Facebook when:

  1. You update your status on Facebook and your brother sitting in next room comments on it.
  2. Your friends in party take their pics, upload them to Facebook and then call you to ask if you have looked at pics.
  3. You look for “Like” button in the newspaper.
  4. You wake up in morning and the first thing you do is goto Facebook to see updates from friends.
  5. You post your wedding event to Facebook and ask friends to RSVP.
  6. You see something amazing and you take a pic to share it with your friends on facebook.
  7. You just want to comments on every status update of your friends.
  8. Facebook is the first web page you open after launching a browser.
  9. You hit a Refresh on Facebook Page hoping that there will be some more updates.
  10. You check your emails to see if there are any notifications from Facebook.
  11. If you still think you are not addicted to Facebook, then you already are but you don’t realize it because it is now part of you and your life.

I might have missed something that shows addictness to Facebook, feel free to add them in the comments and soon I will post symptoms of addictness to Twitter 🙂

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How to use oauth-python-twitter

Using OAuth for authentication is quite different then using Basic Auth in many ways, first major difference is that one don’t know the username until it is requested from twitter after completing the authentication process.


You will need following information to start.

  • Consumer Key
  • Consumer Secret

If you do not have above, you can request them from here:

The following are the steps that should be performed to authenticate user and get user information from twitter, the rest is same as using python-twitter.

  • Get the Request Token from twitter
  • Get Authorization URL
  • Get the Access Token from twitter
  • Get user information

Get the Request Token from twitter

request_token = twitter.getRequestToken()

Get Authorization URL

using same request_token from previous step

authorization_url = twitter.getAuthorizationURL(request_token)

Now send the user to authorization URL, for allowing access to the application.

Get the Access Token from twitter

Once the user return from twitter, we need to request the access_token from twitter for futher aunthenticated api calls on behalf of user.

NOTE: Need to create the new instance of OAuthApi using request_token from first step.

twitter = OAuthApi(CONSUMER_KEY, CONSUMER_SECRET, request_token)
access_token = twitter.getAccessToken()

Get user information

This api call was not present in python-twitter and the user info call expected that there we know the username before making call, but this is not the case with OAuth, so we have to request User Information so we can use it in our application.

NOTE: Need to create the new instance of OAuthApi using access_token from last step.

twitter = OAuthApi(CONSUMER_KEY, CONSUMER_SECRET, access_token)
user = twitter.GetUserInfo()

Now use the rest of python-twitter api calls as you used to use them with basic authentication, for more information see the wiki at:

OAuthApi, an OAuth Extension to python-twitter

If you are a python developer and you tried to develop some application for twitter, you must have came acrossed python-twitter. Which provides you a pythonic interface to twitter, by allowing you to access almost all twitter objects as python objects. python-twitter is still in devleopment, and hence still does not have the OAuth compatibility. I am being a oauth pro, deicided to write a derived class from python-twitter, to allow OAuth to be used as the authentication mechnism for python-twitter.

python-twitter is being developed by our beloved google’s employee: DeWitt Clinton

You can get the python-twitter at: python-twitter

You can get the oauth extension to python-twitter at: oauth-python-twitter

In the next following posts I will posting about how I am using it with Django specifically and how I have writter my TwitterAuthBackend for Django. The whole purpose of publishing the code is to get improvements and reviews on the code, so I have allowed non-members to review the above project on, you are more then welcome to post your coments here or review the code on the project. Let me know if you don’t understand anything by asking questions in comments.

P.S I have used the same license as was used for python-twitter.

Happy twittering and developing 🙂

Google App Engine: Do not let your engine stop

As you all might have noticed that I was not posting for a while now, actually had been taken overy by few projects. But today I thought to post about the updates from Google App Engine. Google App Engine have released the Cookbook where you can submit your recipies or can benefit from other people’s snippets of code.

One more thing that Google App Engine team has done which is really useful, they have included the documentation with SDK, so if you are offline you will still have access to SDK. This will not let your engine stops even if you are not connected to internet.

Google App Engine is getting popularity.

If you haven’t been following Google App Engine Blog, according to latest post the Google App Engine is getting popularity and many programmers are learning python just to play with App Engine. According to Marzia Niccolai on Google App Engine Blog:

I’ve returned from the App Engine hack-a-thon in Chicago a Superfan of the App Engine community. We had lots of fun meeting App Engine developers, but why let me tell you about it? A couple of attendees wrote great summaries of the day: A Ruby on Rails developer giving Python a whirl, and a developer who worked on testing with App Engine. We saw people working on iPhone apps, OpenSocial and App Engine, and even a chat application!

So, if you want to host your application on reliable Google platform then you gotta learn Python to make your next app in Google App Engine. Google App Engine is going to be the next big thing if they started supporting rest of the languages like PHP, Ruby and Perl which they have already promised. So stay tuned.

Rails 2.1 introdcution with scaffolding

Okay, after settig up rails 2.1 we are now ready to start our rails journey. So lets begin with a simple blog application. If you are thinking why are we not following the tradition of “Hello World” project here,  the answer is simple, because you can find it all over the internet. For the sake of simplicity of this beginner introduction we assume we just want to create posts and add comments to our blog. No categories and no other bells and whistles, because the main point is to learn rails 2.1 neither to learn how to create a blog. Continue reading Rails 2.1 introdcution with scaffolding

How to install Rails 2.1 on Ubuntu in 5 steps

I thought it would be a good idea to start with actually installation of rails 2.1, as many latest linux distributions don’t come with the latest version of rails which includes Ubuntu 8.04. So in this how to we will cover installation of rails 2.1 on Ubuntu 8.04. Continue reading How to install Rails 2.1 on Ubuntu in 5 steps

Rails 2.1 tutorial series is coming

As I mentioned earlier I will start writing some rails tutorials in my Post “Why Django is more attractive then Rails?“. So now I have created this separate rails tutorial section which will serve as a TOC for all my rails tutorial posts. I have decided to start with a simple todo app. One thing to note here is we will be using rails 2.1 (which is the latest version of rails), so I might also write how you can install rails 2.1 on your machine. Sorry for the confusion that I wrote in my earlier article that we will be using rails 2.0. But any how its rails 2.x which is very very different then rails 1.x, so I hope my effort will not be wasted and it will be of some benefit for some newbies converting to rails out there.

One more thing I am not a rails advocate or something, I am just a developer who wants to help newbies. The reason I am writing these rails tutorials is because there is a lot of information for django and other frame works but I think rails lack a simple introduction which can help a newbie understand rails better.

So, I am not sure right now how much articles I will be writing to complete the tutorial but we will go in steps, which means I am not going to write a long article at once.  So stay tuned please I am almost finished with my first post and it will be here soon.

Why Django is more attractive then Rails?

One of my friends was introduced to rails when the version 2.0 was already out. He tried to learn rails for months on his own but couldn’t succeed. Recently he contacted me and asked if I have books, materials or may be links to some good books/tutorials for learning rails 2.0. And to my surprise there is not enough material available for a newbie to learn rails 2.0 which is totally different then the older 1.x version.

The whole internet and even the rails site points to old materials and this is quite confusing for newbies. My that friend has already been turned to Django for professional development but he still wants to learn Ruby on Rails. The books like “Agile Web Development With Rails” is still to come out for Rails 2.0.

So, now to give something back to the community I have decided to write a through more then a “Hello Wolrd” tutorial for rails 2.0 so newbies don’t waste their precious time just looking for the information which is almost now obsolete. I said obsolete because Rails 2.0 has been changed alot, although the old programmers don’t notice it much because of their prior experience of the language. But for new comers its confusing when scaffolds don’t work for them or they get confused when they see the config/routes.rb which has new majic of map.resource covering everything.

So, hopefully I will be able to solve all these mysteries here. Also if you have written something for Rails 2.0 you can post the link in comments and later I will create a separate post that will points to all the external collections.