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SitePoint PHP Blog:
How to Build a Twitter Follower-Farmer Detection App with RestDB
May 31, 2017 @ 12:17:03

The SitePoint PHP blog has a tutorial posted for the Twitter users out there showing you how to create a "follower-farmer" detection tool that will scan your account for followers that track your account and then soon after unfollow as a means of gaming the follower system.

Are you active on Twitter? If so, do you often wonder why some accounts seem to follow you only to unfollow you moments (or days) later? It’s probably not something you said – they’re just follower farming.

[...] Follower farming is a known social media hack taking advantage of people who “#followback” as soon as someone follows them. [...] In this post, we’ll build an app which lets you log in via Twitter, grabs your followers, and compares the last fetched follower list with a refreshed list in order to identify the new unfollowers and calculate the duration of their follow, potentially auto-identifying the farmers.

They use a Homestead VM and a fresh Laravel installation to create their application. It makes use of the Socialite package to connect to Twitter using your application's client ID and secret. The application then makes use of the guzzlehttp/oauth-subscriber package to connect to the Twitter API and get a list of current followers. The post also includes the code to create a "FollowerServiceProvider" to make it simpler to get the follower information. He then shows how to set up the RestDB account and push the follower content out to it for storage. The tutorial wraps up with the code required to analyze the followers against "unfollowers" and report back the results.

tagged: twitter follower farmer detect application laravel tutorial

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/how-to-build-a-twitter-follower-farmer-detection-app-with-restdb/

TutsPlus.com:
Using the Twitter API to Tweet Repetitive Content
May 03, 2017 @ 09:58:18

On the TutsPlus.com site they've continued their series covering the use of the Twitter API from PHP. In this latest tutorial author Jeff Reifman shows you how to use the API to tweet content repetitively at different intervals and with randomized content. The tutorial uses a Yii2 framework application as its base.

Welcome back to our coverage of the Twitter API. If you use Twitter, you may have come across a friend sharing tweets from the @infinite_scream bot (shown above). I know it's mostly a bot because it tweets at ten-minute intervals. But it varies the string length of its virtual screams to avoid being blocked by the Twitter's API's infamous undocumented restrictions. Tweet too frequently or repeat the same content and you'll find your bots hopelessly blocked.

Recently, an online friend asked me to help them write code for a bot that might repeat but provide some intelligent content variation. In today's tutorial, I'll write about how to do this with the Twitter API.

He starts off with the registration of a new Twitter application and the creation of the table to store the tweet variations. Next he uses the CRUD and model generators in Yii2 to build out the model and controller skeletons. He then creates the migrations/tables/models for the random hashtags and URLs the bot will include in its tweets. Finally, he shows the creation of the code to make the random tweets and how he made the choice of when to tweet. The post ends with the code to send off the tweet (the job) and an example of the results.

tagged: twitter api repetitive content tutorial series bot random

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/using-the-twitter-api-to-tweet-repetitive-content--cms-28096

TutsPlus.com:
Building With the Twitter API: Creating Friends to Follow
Mar 23, 2017 @ 12:32:04

The TutsPlus.com site has posted the latest tutorial in their "Building with the Twitter API" series showing how to, in a Yii2 application, automatically add friends to a Twitter account via the Twitter API. You've probably seen this in several services that offer suggestions of followers to add to your list.

Today I'll guide you through using the Yii2 Framework for PHP to access the Twitter API and automate adding friends to people's Twitter accounts. (If you'd like to learn more about Yii2, check out our parallel series Programming With Yii2.)

And, I've created a website, Twixxr.com, which will let you demonstrate the feature by adding prominent women on Twitter for your account to follow.

The tutorial starts with links to some of the other Twitter tutorials that have been posted in the past and how things have evolved to make it easier in a Yii2 application. He starts by helping you get the Twitter OAuth PHP Library installed and lists some of the goals of the end result. The code is included to authorize the user and handle the callback once they've approved the app in the normal OAuth flow. It then shows how to connect via the API using that user's information, load profiles for the suggested users and link them as a friend. The tutorial finishes with a look at performance and a bit of code used to handle the backend processing of the request instead of performing it in real time.

tagged: twitter tutorial api oauth2 friends follow suggestion yii2

Link: https://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/building-with-the-twitter-api-creating-friends-to-follow--cms-27492

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Home-Made Twitter and Gmail Notifications with PHP and Arduino
Jan 16, 2017 @ 10:48:54

On the SitePoint PHP blog Christopher Pitt is back with another tutorial showing you yet another "odd" use of PHP. In this latest post he shows you how to integrate PHP and an Arduino to relay Twitter and Gmail notifications.

I am a little obsessed with Twitter. It’s how I communicate with most of the developers I’m not fortunate to live in the same city as. I’m a little less obsessed with IoT projects, but then it’s harder to find the time to work on them than it is to check Twitter.

Unless I can do both at the same time.

Ever since the IoT week, I’ve been meaning to work on a project that will let me know when someone wants to speak to me. Something that looks cool, and is at the same time non-invasive. This is what I’ve come up with...

He connects the Arduino with a RBG LED and a a proximity sensor to a PHP script that will change the LED color based on the notification type. The sensor would allow some "hand waving" to dismiss the notification as "read". He then starts in on the hardware side of things including some illustrations of the Arduino board and how things connect. With that simple setup in place he moves over to the software side, creating a Notifier service interface and using the "endroid/twitter" package to connect over to Twitter. He then walks through the creation of the Gmail and Twitter applications, grabbing the related OAuth credentials and dropping them into the script's configuration file. He builds out notifier classes for each service and hooks it into the Arduino with the Firmata and Carica libraries. Finally he hooks it all together with a bit of SPLQueue functionality to loop and listen for new alerts to relay to the Ardunio.

tagged: arduino twitter gmail notifications tutorial proximity sensor led

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/home-made-twitter-and-gmail-notifications-with-php-and-arduino/

Freek Van der Herten:
Easily work with the Twitter Streaming API in PHP
Jan 16, 2017 @ 09:25:26

On his site ** has posted a tutorial showing you how to use the Twitter Streaming API from PHP with some help from the Phirehose package.

Twitter provides a streaming API with which you can do interesting things such as listen for tweets that contain specific strings or actions a user might take (e.g. liking a tweet, following someone,…). In this post you’ll learn an easy way to work with that API.

When researching on how to work with the streaming API in PHP it stumbled upon Phirehose. This package can authenticate and set up a connection with the streaming API.

Since the Phirehose API is a bit difficult to work with, he created a package (Laravel version) to help make it a bit easier. He then walks you through the integration of this service with a Laravel-based application, including showing you how to set up the app on the Twitter side and get the API key/secret for the connection. He shows how to add the Laravel package version's provider to the configuration and create a first stream type: listening for certain hashtags. He shows how the stream reacts to a simple tweet of his with the "#laravel" hashtag in a console application. He also includes another example showing a stream that listens for people performing actions on the current user's stream (like favoriting a tweet). You can find out more about the powerful Stream API in the official Twitter documentation for the service.

tagged: twitter streaming api tutorial package phirehose laravel

Link: https://murze.be/2017/01/easily-work-with-the-twitter-streaming-api-in-php/

Scotch.io:
Laravel Social Authentication with Socialite
Nov 17, 2016 @ 12:17:41

The Scotch.io site has posted a tutorial for the Laravel users out there showing you how to use the Socalite package in your application to make authentication handling with external services simpler.

Laravel introduced a built in Authentication module in version 5.2. To set this up, you just have to run php artisan make:auth and everything is generated for you, from the views to the controllers and the routes.

[...] And that is a great thing. However, this command will only make you a traditional login. In most sites nowadays when signing up, users have the option of signing up with a social provider such as Facebook. In this tutorial, I will teach you how to add multiple social providers to a Laravel app using Socialite package. For this tutorial we will add Facebook, Github and Twitter signups.

They start off with a new Laravel application (but, of course, you can use your current one), setting up a new database and creating a custom "users" table that includes "provider" information. The User model is then updated to allow the population of this data and the "make:auth" command is run. The Socialite package is then included and the application is configured to include its service provider. The tutorial then steps you through creating Github, Twitter and Facebook applications, getting the keys needed to drop into your app's configuration. Finally they update the login/registration pages with the social login buttons and how they'll now "magically" work.

tagged: tutorial socalite authentication laravel github twitter facebook

Link: https://scotch.io/tutorials/laravel-social-authentication-with-socialite

SitePoint PHP Blog:
Hacking the Fitbit – Emulating a Pager for Twitter DMs!
Jun 17, 2016 @ 10:27:57

The SitePoint PHP blog has a tutorial they've posted from Christopher Pitt showing you how to hack your Fitbit into a pager for Twitter DMs. This essentially turns your Fitbit into a notification system for when someone on Twitter sends you a direct message. It's not overly useful (as you can't send a message) but it is an interesting integration.

I’ve been trying to wake up earlier in the morning. The trouble is that alarms wake everybody up, not just me. To get around this problem, I recently bought the cheapest Fitbit I could find, having learned that they have a neat silent alarm.

The truth is, if I had the cash I would rather have bought an Apple watch. When I got the Fitbit, my programmer brain immediately jumped to the question; “How can I hack this thing?” I ended up learning a bit about Fitbit, OAuth and the Twitter API. I also learned that sometimes it’s better just to get an Apple watch…

His application uses Lumen as the framework and makes connections to both the Twitter and Fitbit JSON APIs. He defines a few routes for the OAuth handling (with callbacks) and a simple view with the "Connect To" links. He shows the creation of applications on both the Twitter and Fitbit side and how to define their keys in your configuration. He sets up the Socialite providers for both connections and a bit of caching to prevent the need for a full pull. He then uses the Fitbit API to set "silent alarms" on your device that are timed to go off immediately when the app detects a new DM on the Twitter stream.

tagged: tutorial fitbit twitter api connect application alarm directmessage

Link: https://www.sitepoint.com/hacking-the-fitbit-emulating-a-pager-for-twitter-dms/

TutsPlus.com:
How to Authenticate Users With Twitter OAuth 2.0
Apr 29, 2016 @ 11:21:10

On the TutsPlus.com site they've posted a tutorial showing you how to integrate with Twitter's OAuth authentication through a few simple steps allowing the well known "Log in with Twitter" functionality.

In this tutorial, you will learn how to use Twitter API 1.1 and OAuth 2.0 to authenticate users of your application and publish a test tweet.

To create services which act on behalf of users' accounts and make it really secure and easy to develop, we need three things: a Twitter application, the REST API and access to the user account To put the pieces together into a working mechanism, we need an authentication framework. As a Twitter standard, the REST API identifies Twitter applications and users using OAuth.

The tutorial starts with a brief description of OAuth for those that aren't overly familiar with the use of the technology and its flow. They then go through the steps you'll need to get your app working with Twitter's OAuth handling:

  • Create the Twitter application
  • Get the OAuth credentials (secret and key)
  • Installing a Twitter library via Composer
  • Configuring your app with the OAuth credentials
  • Building out the code to send the request to Twitter and receive the resulting callback

Once you receive that callback you'll have a token you can use to uniquely identify the user and interact with the Twitter API on their behalf. The post ends with some related links to other resources with more details about the Twitter API, their OAuth handling and other Twitter libraries.

tagged: twitter authenticate user oauth tutorial library flow

Link: http://code.tutsplus.com/tutorials/how-to-authenticate-users-with-twitter-oauth-20--cms-25713

Scotch.io:
How To Process Tweets in Real-Time with Laravel
Apr 29, 2016 @ 09:10:16

The Scotch.io site has a tutorial posted showing you how to combine Laravel and the Twitter Streaming API to process tweets in real time inside your application.

This tutorial will show how to use the Twitter Streaming APIs to process tweets in real-time from a Laravel application. There are a variety of use cases for this: perhaps you want to auto-respond to mentions of your company, run a contest via Twitter, or create support tickets when users complain about your product. For this tutorial, we'll build a "featured tweets" widget to display approved tweets on our app's home page.

He starts with an overview of the tools and terms you'll need to know about for the tutorial and a few notes of things to watch out for. He then describes the overall structure of the application (an app just to show the tweets) and links to a repository for the impatient. He then breaks up the rest of the tutorial into several steps:

  • Creating a new Laravel application and installing the Phirehose library
  • Building a "process tweet" job and matching TwitterStream class to use Phirehose and dispatch the job
  • Make the artisan command to connect to the API and the application you created
  • Configure your queue driver and run the processing command
  • Set up a "Tweet" model to connect the application and database table

He finishes the post showing how to make the ProcessTweet Job useful, set up some basic authentication and pass the currently processed tweets into the default "Welcome" view.

tagged: realtime tweet twitter process stream api laravel job queue tutorial

Link: https://scotch.io/tutorials/how-to-process-tweets-in-real-time-with-laravel#step-11-make-the-processtweet-job-useful

Cal Evans:
What do developers look for when they scan a job ad?
Apr 28, 2016 @ 09:20:15

Recently Cal Evans took an informal survey of fellow Twitter users and asked them what they thought was most important to see in a job ad for a developer position. In this new post he shares some of the results and responses to the question (with a surprising range of answers).

In my book “Culture of Respect” I have a section on writing job ads that will attract developers. I am in the process of revising that chapter, so I thought I would ask the people who actually read the job ads what they look for. The results weren’t that surprising to me. Having read a lot of job ads though, I am guessing that the results will be surprising to some managers out there.

He's embedded the tweets themselves in the post (straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak). Responses touch on subjects like:

  • salary requirements
  • clear definition of duties
  • less "buzz words"
  • well-defined list of technologies they'll be working with

The results are interesting and a definite must read for anyone coming up with job postings for open developer roles in your company.

tagged: developer job ad posting requirement opinion twitter poll

Link: https://blog.calevans.com/2016/04/20/what-do-developers-look-for-when-they-scan-a-job-ad/