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Net::Twitter Cookbook: How to Tweet

The first line between Twitter Use and Twitter Obsession is TweetDeck. That's when the update-on-demand single-thread of the web page gives way to multiple constantly-updated streams of the stream-of-consciousness ramblings of the Internet.

That's the first line.

The second line between Twitter use and Twitter obsession is when you want to automate the work. If you're an R person, that's twitteR. If you work in Python, that's tweepy.

And, if you're like me, and you normally use Perl, we're talking Net::Twitter.

What follows is the simplest possible Net::Twitter program.

#!/usr/bin/env perl
use feature qw{ say } ;
use strict ;
use warnings ;
use Net::Twitter ;

# the consumer key and secret identify you as a service. 
# you register your service at
# and receive the key and secret

# you really don't want to have these written into your script

my $consumer_key    = 'ckckckckckckckckckckck' ;
my $consumer_secret = 'cscscscscscscscscscscscscscscscscscscscs' ;

my $twit = Net::Twitter->new(
    traits          => [qw/API::RESTv1_1/],
    consumer_key    => $consumer_key,
    consumer_secret => $consumer_secret,
    ssl             => 1,
    ) ;

# the access token and secret identify you as a user.
# the registration process takes place below.
# the first time you run this program, you will not be authorized,
# and the program will give you a URL to open in a browser where
# you are already logged into twitter.

# you really don't want to have these written into your script

my $access_token = '1111111111-xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx' ;
my $access_token_secret = 'zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz' ;

$twit->access_token($access_token) ;
$twit->access_token_secret($access_token_secret) ;

# everything interesting will occur inside this if statement
if ( $twit->authorized ) {
    if ( $twit->update('Hello World!') ) {
        say 'It worked!' ;
    else {
        say 'Fail' ;
else {
    # 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 ) ;

    say 'The following lines need to be copied and pasted above' ;
    say $access_token ;
    say $access_token_secret ;

Again, this is as simple as we can reasonably do, without pulling the keys into a separate file, which I, again, strongly recommend you do. (I personally use YAML as the way I store and restore data such as access tokens and consumer keys. I will demonstrate that in a later post.)

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