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A little bit on OAuth and Net::Twitter on the Command Line

I have a Twitter application up on Github. I quote:


# largely taken verbatim from

# Next step is to get the keys and secrets to a config.

# you need to get your own access token and secret (which identifies you
# as a developer or application) and consumer key and secret (which
# identifies you as a Twitter user). You cannot use mine.

use 5.010 ;
use strict ;
use IO::Interactive qw{ interactive } ;
use Net::Twitter ;
use Carp ;

my $status = join ' ', @ARGV ;
if ( length $status < 1 ) {
    while ( <stdin> ) {
        $status .= $_ ;
    chomp $status ;

if ( length $status > 140 ) {
    say { interactive } 'Too long' ;
    say { interactive } length $status ;
    exit ;
if ( length $status < 1 ) {
    say { interactive } 'No content' ;
    say { interactive } length $status ;
    exit ;

say $status ;

# GET key and secret from
my $twit = Net::Twitter->new(
        traits          => [ 'API::REST', 'OAuth' ],
        consumer_key    => 'consumer_key' ,   #GET YOUR OWN
        consumer_secret => 'consumer_secret', #GET YOUR OWN
        ) ;

# You'll save the token and secret in cookie, config file or session database
my ( $access_token, $access_token_secret ) ;
( $access_token, $access_token_secret ) = restore_tokens() ;

if ( $access_token && $access_token_secret ) {
    $twit->access_token( $access_token ) ;
    $twit->access_token_secret( $access_token_secret ) ;

unless ( $twit->authorized ) {

    # You have no auth token
    # go to the auth website.
    # they'll ask you if you wanna do this, then give you a PIN
    # input it here and it'll register you.
    # then save your token vals.

    say "Authorize this app at ", $twit->get_authorization_url, ' and enter the PIN#' ;
    my $pin = <stdin> ;    # wait for input
    chomp $pin ;
    my ( $access_token, $access_token_secret, $user_id, $screen_name ) =
      $twit->request_access_token( verifier => $pin ) ;
    save_tokens( $access_token, $access_token_secret ) ;    # if necessary

if ( $twit->update( $status ) ) {
    say { interactive } 'OK' ;
else {
    say { interactive } 'FAIL' ;

#========= ========= ========= ========= ========= ========= =========

# Docs-suggested
sub restore_tokens {
    my $access_token = 'token' ;            #GET YOUR OWN
    my $access_token_secret = 'secret' ;    #GET YOUR OWN
    return $access_token, $access_token_secret ;

sub save_tokens {
    my ( $access_token, $access_token_secret ) = @_ ;
    say 'access_token: ' . $access_token ;
    say 'access_token_secret: ' . $access_token_secret ;
    return 1 ;

I mention this, in part, because I'm going back to the code so I can automate tweets for @PurduePM, the Twitter feed of the Purdue Perl Mongers, which I am taking over.

I remember that, when I wrote this and first tried to use it, it frustrated and confused me. When I tried to dust it off this afternoon, I found it to be downright easy. I wiped the access tokens and ran the code. It hit the if statement, gave you the authentication URL and waited for a PIN. Given that, it "saved" the tokens (by which I mean "wrote to STDOUT". I then put the access token and speed. The means I have for saving and restoring tokens, which is less than minimal, could easily be improved. Thing is, I have no means within the code to distinguish between users. The usage is This is a tweet or echo This is another tweet |, with the entirety of @ARGV being concatenated into the message, so it's entirely within the code whether we're determining which account is being used.

But, it strikes me I could make aliases. Alias twitter to " jacobydave " and shift the username from @ARGV. (BTW, I'm on Twitter as @JacobyDave. Follow me.) Then, alias twit_ppm or something to " purduepm " and so on.

I really got to the "it works, so can I please get to the next thing?" stage and stopped playing with it, before I got to the really interesting point. I'm certainly beginning to appreciate how useful and cool OAuth is. I'll attempt to come up with the next better thing, as well as put together the means to store the keys in an external file. Remember, you'll have to get to the Twitter Developer page and create an app to get the crucial consumer key if you want to use this code. If I let you have mine, and someone starts using it to spam a lot, Twitter might revoke the key to protect itself. 


  1. If you'd like an example of a very featureful Perl Twitter client, check out the source of TTYtter. It's probably a bit more involved than what you seem to want (though it can also be used for automation), but it may provide inspiration for handling OAuth tokens and the like.

  2. I'm 97% sure I've used TTYtter before. Thanks, and I'll look through that.

    Whatever I decide my usage will be, I can implement it. It's finding the implementation worth doing that't the thing.

    On G+, someone suggested I do it by linking and telling what the name of the program is. That sounds about right.