Twitter on Linux: Maybe One day.

Tagged as:

Today's Linux Adventure involves Twitter.
Let me start off by warning you: There are no good Twitter Clients for Linux. Believe me, the ones I've tried out today have taught me that.
There seem to be some interesting Command Line versions, which, if I could get to work, would probably be really cool. In fact, building one into conky would rule-- But I digress.

Screenshot-TwituxOne of the few twitter clients that can be installed and seem to actually work at least half the time is is Twitux.
Twitux has a dinosaur for an icon. It's name references Tux, the Linux mascot penguin thingy. I believe Don Martin might summarize the situation thusly: "Yeeccch."
Twitux loads up and looks and operates like a typical Gnome ap. Look at it in the screen cap that accompanies this post. Twitux is functional but unpolished. It screams 1998. The word wraps seem odd and there's literally no chrome. Also, there's a redundant thing at the bottom that shows (again) the tweet that you click on in the list above. Why does it do that? What good is that?
Twitux is, however, the best standalone twitter ap I've been able to track down for Ubuntu. You can download a package from GotDeb if you want to try it. Part of the problem is that twitter integrates awesomely with IM so you don't need to use a standalone ap, but if you're not using a standalone ap, you're missing out on some of Twitter's awesomeness. (Like a live word count, which Twitux does well.)
If you're not sure what the big deal is about a standalone twitter ap, and you run Windows or OsX, fire up Snitter and see what a fancy-pants twitter client brings to the table. (Snitter's not without its deficiencies as well, but at least it's got some pizazz-- Twitux is like a tan can driving down brown street. Snore-city.)Snitter's biggest drawback is Adobe Air. Most of the development in stand-alone Twitter applications have been on Adobe Air. I dislike Air a great deal, but I, frankly, don't understand why there isn't an Adobe Air client for Linux. (Well, I do, but I don't _understand_ in the _I don't accept_ sense). Adobe, you've disappointed me again.

Look, I don't mean to diminish the work that Twitux's developers have put into creating a desktop twitter client for Linux. They're clearly better programmers than I'll ever be. Twitux a great start in developing a lient for Linux, and certainly the developer has done a lot of hard work to get it to where it is today. Frankly, most of my criticism of the appearance would more correctly be thrown at GNOME's lack of chrome.

Comments

I am not exactly sure why

I am not exactly sure why you dislike AIR so much. Is it just the fact that there is not currently a Linux runtime? We don't have an announcement just yet, but you can be assured there will be one. Also see this article: http://blog.digitalbackcountry.com/?p=1234

Daniel Dura
Platform Evangelist
Adobe Systems

gTwitter

Have you tried gTwitter ? I've been using it for a few months now, and altough it hasn't had any updates since 1.0 it's pretty usable and does the job (but lately it's been having some weird hangups).

Anyway, I'm working on a new multiplatform Jaiku client which I'll transform into a Twitter client as well, so stay tuned to my blog.

Pidgin/Kopete

I don't know what's so great about a "Twitter client", but I just set Twitter up to work with IM, and use Pidgin or Kopete to interact with Twitter. Good enough for me. If there's something extra-shiny about a Twitter client, let me know what I'm missing.

Snitter On Linux

I was able to install Snitter using Adobe Air on my Ubuntu box, however when I launch it I get the snitter icon in the upper panel, but double clicking it gives me nothing I don't get any snitter window nothing!!

I am not sure if getting it installed (at least) is considered progress or not??

ttytter, seamlessrdp...

ttytter. It's totally command-line, but it works reasonably well, support ANSI, and is a cinch to install. It's a perl script, needs lynx or curl (curl is better), and that's it.

Sure, it's even more unpolished, but it's also about as low-overhead as you can get.

Otherwise, if you have a Windows box somewhere you can RDP into, you can always use seamlessrdp and pull over a Windows client (standalone, without the entire Windows desktop) to your Ubuntu desktop. I do this with twhirl (the best AIR/Flex client of the bunch, most of the time), and it actually works really well. Shocks a lot of people to see twhirl or Windows Live Writer, say, apparently running on a Linux desktop.

Otherwise, you're quite correct about Linux and Twitter clients...they really all lack _something_ that makes them pretty unuseable over time.

AFAIK the answer to the

AFAIK the answer to the "Have you tried gTwitter ?" is yes

AFAIK the answer to the

AFAIK the answer to the "Have you tried gTwitter ?" is yes