Top 10 Things Every Twitter Developer Should Know

Adam DuVander
Apr. 13 2010, 02:11AM EDT

The upcoming Chirp conference organized by Twitter is bound to interest a new group of developers. Getting up to speed with a new API can take some research, but Twitter makes it easy with a handy list.

The Things Every Developer Should Know page lists ten items, mostly technical in nature. And like any list for developers, it properly begins with number zero.

  • The contents of the FAQ
  • There are actually three APIs
  • You cannot make unlimited calls, follow requests, updates or direct message
  • The API is entirely HTTP-based
  • The API is a RESTful resource
  • Parameters have certain expectations
  • There are pagination limits
  • Encoding affects status character count
  • A command line is all you need to use the Twitter API
  • There are Twitter API libraries for almost any language.

Be sure to read the full list to get the details of each. Some, such as the FAQ item, point to other resources. While others have some meaty content, such as the parameters section.

Among the important reminders are rate and pagination limits. Both exist to combat abuse and keep overzealous developers from bringing on a Fail Whale.

Rounding out the list are a fun little fact--if you're extra geeky, you can use Twitter from a command line (via curl). And, the sign of a welcoming developer community, Twitter has libraries in 18 programming languages.

Adam DuVander -- Adam heads developer relations at Orchestrate, a database-as-a-service company. He's spent many years analyzing APIs and developer tools. Previously he worked at SendGrid, edited ProgrammableWeb and wrote for Wired and Webmonkey. Adam is also the author of mapping API cookbook Map Scripting 101.

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