[guispeak] Seeking beta feedback on McTwit (a Twitter client)

  • From: Jamal Mazrui <empower@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: ProgrammingBlind@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, GUISpeak@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 22 Apr 2009 18:07:51 -0400 (EDT)


I have now developed a GUI version of McTwit.  The initial, command line
version is still included in the distribution.  I am seeking feedback on
this public beta.  To help you decide whether to try it, pasted below are
sections of the documentation.


Beta 0.9
April 22, 2009
Copyright 2009 by Jamal Mazrui
GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL)


Getting Messages
Sending Messages
Managing Users
Navigating Items
Miscellaneous Commands
Summary of Commands
Development Notes
MT Client
twyt  Twyt - A Twitter client for the easily distracted
twyt - Command line twitter client
Usage: mctwit  COMMAND [options] [args]
 Bits of the twitter API that have been implemented and bits that need
implementing in twitter.py
    How to install twyt
    How to use the twyt Python module
Help on module twyt.twitter in twyt:
Blog of Andrew Price
Twyt Licence


McTwit is a Windows client for the social networking site called
Twitter.com.  It is designed for productivity by keyboard users.
Additionally, if the JAWS, System Access, or Window-Eyes screen reader is
active, select information is conveyed through direct speech messages.
Such messages are also displayed on the status line for visual users.


The installer for McTwit is called mtsetup.exe.  The default location for
the program is
C:\Program Files\McTwit

The installer also creates a desktop shortcut and a program group within
the Windows Start Menu, with options to launch the program, read
documentation, or uninstall.  The default shortcutkey is Alt+Control+M.


The McTwit program is a single dialog with a listbox, multi-line edit box,
and many buttons.  The listbox shows multiple message or user items from
Twitter.  The edit box -- also called the viewing area -- shows additional
information about the current item in the list, e.g., the time of a
message and full name of a user who posted it.

Each button performs an action, often to fill the list with a particular
type of item.  All controls in the dialog may be accessed with a unique,
mnemonic keystroke.  For example, Alt+I focuses on items in the list,
Alt+V focuses on the viewing area, and Alt+N invokes the New button, which
filles the list with new messages by those you are following.  This button
is also the default, so it can be invoked by pressing Enter unless another
button has focus.  Buttons after New are in an alphabetical sequence until
the Help and Close buttons at the end.  A description of each control is
available on the status line when the control has focus.  A screen reader
has a hotkey to read the status line.

Several commands operate relative to a particular user, which McTwit calls
the base user.  If no items are in the list, the base user is yourself.
Otherwise, it is obtained from the current item in the list.  If the type
of item is a message, the base user is the sender of the message.  To
re-establish yourself as the base user, press Alt+0 for the 0Items
command, which clears the list.  To specify a base user by typing a scree
name rather than pointing to a list item, press Alt+1 for the 1Other
command, which prompts you for the other user to be referenced by
subsequent commands.

Getting Messages

The New command, Alt+N, gets tweets by you or your "leaders" -- the McTwit
term for users whom you are following.  The Replies command, Alt+R, gets
tweets that reference your screen name preceded by the @ sign -- a Twitter
convention for replying publicly to someone.  The Direct command, Alt+D,
gets direct messages sent privately to you.  The Public command, Alt+P,
gets messages from the "public timeline"  -- recent tweets posted by

The Messages command, Alt+M, gets tweets by the base user.  The Sent
command, Alt+S, gets direct messages that you have sent.

Sending Messages

The Tweet command, Alt+T, posts a public message by you, which is also
called a "tweet" or "updating your status."  The 2Tweet command, Alt+2,
posts a public reply to the base user.  The Write command, Alt+W, sends a
direct message to the base user.

Managing Users

The Leaders command, Alt+L, gets users that the base user is following.
The followers command, Alt+F, gets users who are following the base user.
The Join command, Alt+J, sets the base user as one of your leaders.

The Zap command, Alt+Z, removes something according to the type of item.
The command deletes a tweet or direct message by you.  The command also
drops someone as your leader, or blocks someone as your follower.  The
Unblock command, Alt+U, unblocks someone, so you may be followed again.

The Extra command, Alt+X, gets more information about the base user, which
is displayed in the viewing area.

Navigating Items

The list of items supports navigation by arrow keys or the initial letter
of an item.  The Keywords command, Alt+K, searches for an item, starting
at the top, based on text it contains.  A match does not depend on
capitalization.  The Again command, Alt+A, searches for the next match, if

The Order command, Alt+O, sorts the list items in alphabetical, reverse,
or original order.  Since messages are initially displayed with the most
recent first, you can display them chronologically instead by choosing
reverse order.

The Query command, Alt+Q, prompts for a "regular expression" for filtering
the list.  The syntax of regular expressions is an advanced topic that is
beyond the scope of this documentation (many tutorials are available on
the web).  If no punctuation symbols are used, the regular expression acts
like the keywords search, except that it searches all text of each message
or user item, not just the part displayed in the list.  Various
punctuation symbols have special meaning in a regular expression, and they
may be used to specify almost any condition or combination of conditions
for text to be considered a match.

Miscellaneous Commands

The Bound command(Alt+B), sets a limit on the number of pages to be
retrieved from Twitter.  The default is 0, meaning no upper bound.  Since
Twitter limits the amount of resources consumed by each user per minute,
you may wish to use this command if you are running into resource limits.
An indication of this problem is when no items are retrieved by McTwit,
even though you are fairly sure that updates are available on Twitter.com.

The Export command, Alt+E, saves text of the current item -- text from
both the list and viewing area.  The text is appended to a file called
Export.txt.   This file is automatically opened in your default text
editor after closing McTwit.  You can then use the text in other ways.
Delete the file if you want McTwit to start a new file in the next

The Yield command, Alt+Y, is a convenience for screen reader users.  It
says the number of items in the list and then reads their text.

The Configure command, Alt+C, lets you change settings such as your screen
name and password, which are needed for authorization by Twitter.  If this
information is not found when McTwit is loading, you are prompted for it.

The Help command, Alt+H, presents this documentation in your web browser.
In addition, a summary of commands is displayed in the viewing area.  This
summary is in the following section.

Summary of Commands

McTwit = Alt+ControlM, Launch or activate the McTwit program

Items = Alt+I, Focus on list of messages or users

View = Alt+V, Focus on Additional information about current list item

New = Alt+N, Display new messages from leaders (friends whom you follow)

Again = Alt+A, Find the next keywords match in the list

Bound = Alt+B, Set an upper limit on the number of pages returned (0 means
no limit)

Configure = Alt+C, Change McTwit settings, e.g., user name and password

Direct = Alt+D, Display direct messages that were sent privately to you

Export = Alt+E, Save text of the current list item and view to the file
Export.txt, which is opened after closing McTwit

Followers = Alt+F, Display users who are following you

Go = Alt+G, Open a referenced URL in your web browser

Join = Alt+J, Start following a user

Keywords = Alt+K, Find a list item based on text it contains

Leaders = Alt+L, Display users whom you are following

Messages = Alt+M, Display messages posted publicly by a user

Order = Alt+O, Change the order of list items, e.g., alphabetize or
reverse them

Public = Alt+P, Display messages in the public timeline

Query = Alt+Q, Filter list items based on a regular expression

Replies = Alt+R, Display public, reply messages to you

Sent = Alt+S, Display direct messages you sent privately to others

Tweet = Alt+T, Update your status by posting a public message

2Tweet = Alt+2, Tweet with a public reply to another user

Unblock = Alt+U, Unblock a user, so you may be followed

Write = Alt+W, Write a private, direct message to another user

E&Xtra = Alt+X, Display extra information about a user

Yield = Alt+Y, Say the number of list items and read their text

Zap = Alt+Z, Depending on the type of list item, delete a public tweet or
direct message by you, block a user from following you, or Stop following
a user

0Items = Alt+0, Clear the list, so queries are based on yourself

1Other = Alt+1, Set or clear the screen name of another user, which will
be referenced instead of pointing to a list item

Help = Alt+H, Display a summary of commands, hotkeys, and descriptions

Close = Escape or Alt+F4, Close the McTwit program

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