It was just before the summer when everything grinded to a halt. Suddenly it looked like no-one was tweeting anymore. “Latest tweets!” our websites proudly announced but the boxes were as empty as the streets in a post-apocalyptic sci-fi movie.
What had happened? The lifeline of an illustrious machine called the Twitter API 1.0 had been cut. After many years merrily pumping out tweets to “Latest tweets!” boxes, it was now as dead as a dodo.
However, a small group of men in white coats with multi-coloured biros in their breast pockets got very excited. They headed to their research & development sheds where they sharpened their chisels, made a cup of tea and started thinking.
“This is the problem with third party tools”, they sighed. “You just can’t fully rely on them”. So they started to create a machine that would talk to the new Twitter machine in the new-fangled Representational State Transfer (REST) language that only machines and men in white coats understand.
The “Latest tweets!” boxes could then ask the new corporate machine to fetch the tweets on their behalf. It would even remember the latest tweets just in case the Twitter machine decided to take a little nap. One white coated man discovered that this would even solve the cookie dilemma. “Imagine” he said, “Latest tweets! without cookies”. “Great!” the others duly replied.
After days of chiselling, wiring of wires and screwing of screws, the new machine was ready. Sharp edges were filed off, it was tested and christened the Social Media Kit. There was much rejoicing with room-temperature white wine in plastic cups and the people with once stern faces now nodded approvingly.
Today, the Social Media Kit steadily provides “Latest tweets!” boxes with both trivial and not-so-trivial tweets at a rate of 8 000 requests per day.
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