A Good Extension and a Good Read


This post will make @ron_mill happy.  As I’ve mentioned and he rubs it in every time we meet, I’m fickle with things computer.  So, here’s another example, Ron.

For a long time now, I’ve been trying to find the perfect Twitter client for my netbook.  There are a lot of great clients, to be sure, but they are mostly big-screen based and display and perform nicely when you’ve got a great deal of real estate for them to use.  My favourite in that arena is Seesmic Desktop.  Quite frankly, it runs well on the netbook as well.  The only catch is that it takes up some serious space and it’s another application to run on the lowered powered processor.

With the release of Ubuntu 10.04, it comes with the Gwibber Social Client which does a great job.  And yet, it’s another application to run.  I find that, to no surprise, that I am spending more and more time in my browser these days.  I’ve settled on Google’s Chrome as it’s fast, responsive and uses the least screen space.  That still doesn’t resolve the Twitter issue through.  I tried using Seesmic Web in a tab but the addition of the tab just subtracts from the room.

Over the weekend, while watching the Indianapolis 500, I had my laptop on the table beside me and noticed a message originating from Chromed Bird.  What an odd name!  I’ve got to check this out.

It turns out that Chromed Bird is an extension for the Chromium and Chrome Browser.  What the heck, let’s give it a shot.  It downloaded and nicely installed itself between Shareaholic and Diigo.  So, there was no robbing of real estate there.  I set about to enter my credentials and unlike other clients, it doesn’t want a user name and password – it wants to use OAuth to connect.  Nice.

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But, the way that it works is what blew me away.  The bird just sits in the browser and polls in the background like any good client.  The blue turns red when there’s new messages to read or green or blue or a combination for referenced tweets or direct messages.  Very nice.  But, the niceness gets better.  When you decide to read what’s happening, you remain in the browser and Chromed Bird overlays the information on what’s on the screen.  So, no moving to a different application at all.  This is going to be interesting when Chrome becomes an operating system in addition to being a browser.  In addition the functionality, there’s also a great deal of configurability as well.

Now, for you computer programming folks, here’s the best part.  The Chromed Bird is an open project.  You can download the source code to it from here.  So, there goes the rest of my past couple of days reading code and trying to follow the logic to make this work.  It’s been an enjoyable few days and the Chromed Bird has been how I’ve been doing business on my Netbook.  I’m really liking it to date.

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