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TWBlue Version 2022.12.13 Released

Today we are releasing TWBlue version 2022.12.13, with news regarding our support for windows 7 users. After receiving many requests from users of the application who were left without support after our last versions, we have decided to restore support for Windows 7 in a special version of TWBlue, which will always be built in portable format, for 32-bit systems only. However, this version will not be upgraded automatically. Windows 7 users will be alerted when new versions are available, but will be instructed to get the version manually from the TWBlue website. These versions will continue to exist as long as it is possible to build TWBlue with Python 3.7 for Windows 7. Remember that TWBlue will always be available via the project’s download page, and its source code can be reviewed on GitHub. If you find the software useful and think it’s worthwhile, consider making a small donation with what you can, and help keep the project going. For more information, you can read the TWBlue page.

News

  • Per popular request, We will generate a 32-bit portable version of TWBlue available for Windows 7 operating systems. This version will not be supported in our automatic updater, so in case of using such version, you would need to download it manually every time there is a new update. TWBlue will continue to be available for Windows 7 as long as it is possible to build it using Python 3.7.
  • Fixed a couple of bugs that were making TWBlue unable to be opened in some computers, related to our translator module and some COM objects handled incorrectly.
  • Fixed an issue that was making TWBlue unable to open in certain computers due to errors related to Win32 API’S.
  • Twitter:
    • Fixed a bug that was making sent direct messages to be placed in received direct messages buffer.
    • When quoting a tweet, you can use all 280 characters to send your quoted tweet, as opposed to the 256 characters TWBlue allowed before.
    • Fixed a bug that was making TWBlue unable to reply to direct messages by using the “reply” keystroke.
  • Mastodon:
    • Added account settings dialog.
    • Added template editing functionality for mastodon accounts.
    • When a post is edited, TWBlue will update the post object in the buffer to reflect the latest edit.
    • Fixed a small issue that was preventing TWBlue to display some posts in their corresponding dialog.

For Downloading this version, you can go to the project download page, or perform the update automatically in case you are already using an earlier version of the application. If you want to report a bug, you can do so by mentioning the official TWBlue Twitter account. You can also report bugs through our issue reporting site on GitHub.

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TWBlue 2022.12.6 released

We have received some reports from TWBlue users, from different parts of the world (mainly in America), where the application has stopped working completely. After a brief investigation, we have come to the conclusion that this problem has been caused by a bug in the call to one of the Twitter API methods, which does not happen everywhere in the world, but we have been able to fix it in a version that we are releasing today. This release contains all the new features added in testing with Mastodon, plus some important bug fixes both in Mastodon support and the fix that makes it possible to use Twitter in TWBlue again. This version is safe to use, as it has been tested and most of the reported bugs have been fixed. We expect to release successive versions with more new features and fixes very soon. If you find the software useful and think it is worthwhile, please consider making a small donation of whatever you can, and help keep the project going. For more information, you can read the TWBlue website

News

Most of all changes in this release are focused on adding Mastodon support to TWBlue. The features present to handle Twitter should not have been altered in any way. We were not intended to release this version so soon, but unfortunately, Twitter started to present issues in some regions with one particular API endpoint we were using, making impossible for everyone in such regions to use the application. We will release more updates to fix any possible issue regarding Twitter API, but please take into account that this is sometimes an issue happening in Twitter’s servers and while we do our best to make TWBlue work despite those problems, you might encounter glitches from time to time.

  • TWBlue now builds with Python 3.10.8.
    • This change also drops support for Windows 7.
  • The TWBlue interface has not been translated yet, as we are releasing this update to fix an important Twitter issue for some regions.
  • Twitter sessions should be able to be opened properly again in TWBlue, in regions where it didn’t work since last week.
  • It is now possible to log in to instances of mastodon, hometown and similar software (Pleroma should work as well, although it has not been tested at this time). From the session manager, clicking on the “new account” button will bring up a menu from which you can select whether you want to log in to Twitter or Mastodon. For instances that have a different character limit than the one set by Mastodon, TWBlue will detect the new limit and adjust the dialogs to allow you to use it correctly.
  • Most of the TWBlue GUI has been adapted so that the buffers reflect the change of social network (in mastodon, for example, the buttons to write posts say post instead of tweet). However, the menu bar has not yet been updated. This means that most of the options still refer to Twitter, although they can be used with mastodon accounts. For example, if you select the “tweet” menu in the menu bar, and then select the “Retweet” option, TWBlue will actually do a “boost” if the buffer you are in is a Mastodon account buffer.
  • Keystrokes for the invisible interface also refer to terms used in Twitter, but can be applied to Mastodon as well.
  • There are some features, within TWBlue, that are not yet compatible with mastodon accounts. These are as follows:
    • User autocompletion.
    • Currently, it is not possible to update account settings for mastodon sessions. However, if you know how to edit configuration files, you can close TWBlue, change your session file with any text editor and restart the application to update what you want.
    • The template editor is not yet available for mastodon accounts.
    • Filters have not yet been implemented in TWBlue mastodon support.
    • User aliases are not implemented yet.
    • It is not possible to view a user’s profile, nor edit your own, for now. However, you can use the keystroke to open the item in the browser when focusing a user to access their profile website. This only works in buffers where users are listed.
    • You cannot manage lists in TWBlue at the moment.
  • Most of the buffers planned for mastodon should just work. Among those currently tested are: home (main timeline for the logged-in user), Local (public posts for the instance), federated (public posts for all federating instances), mentions, direct messages, sent posts, favorites, bookmarks, followers, following, blocked users, muted users, user searches and timelines for users.
    • The difference between favorites and bookmarks is that the author of the post can see who has marked his posts as favorites, but bookmarks are completely private. In any buffer containing mastodon posts, except direct messages, the GUI will display an option to add the post to favorites or bookmarks.
    • Direct messages in mastodon are posts, exactly like normal posts, but with their privacy setting set so that they can only be seen by the accounts that are mentioned. In the direct message buffer, a conversation will appear for each item in the buffer. The conversation represents a thread of messages, but TWBlue can only display the last of the messages sent. This is similar to what happens on platforms like Telegram, where you can only see the list of conversations at the beginning. To see the entire thread of direct messages present in a conversation, you can use the command to open the conversation, or go to the “tweet” menu in the menu bar, and then towards the “view conversation” option. This will create a new conversation buffer that will be located just after the direct messages buffer (for the GUI, the buffer will be located just inside the direct messages buffer in the buffer tree). When a private post appears (whose visibility only allows the mentioned accounts to see it), TWBlue will display that post in the home buffer, in mentions and also will update/create the conversation with that item. This is because Mastodon does not differentiate between a private message and a normal post. You can reply to the post in any buffer to continue the conversation. If you reply to any post, the privacy set in the original post is maintained by default, but can also be changed.
    • The buffer showing the federated timeline has been disabled from settings. This is because on servers that federate with many instances it can load many posts in a very short time. To enable this buffer, for now, edit the TWBlue configuration while the application is closed, and add the “federated” buffer in the option called “buffer_order”. As soon as buffers can be shown or hidden, this process can be done through the GUI.
    • There is a Streaming API that allows the elements for the start buffers, mentions, direct messages, sent posts and followers to appear in real time. This feature is implemented by default and should also just work.
    • Timelines for users only allow to get all posts from users who are in the same instance. For users belonging to other instances, you can get the posts that have been downloaded to your instance since your instance “knows” the remote user.
    • Timelines for followers and following can be fully retrieved only for users belonging to the same instance. Remote users may yield unclear results.
    • You can search by users (by opening a search and selecting the “users” radio button). The search can be done by local users, such as twblue, or by remote users, such as @[email protected]
  • In all buffers, a maximum of 40 items are retrieved per load, but more can be retrieved by using the option to load more items in the buffer.
  • In post buffers, you can do most of the actions already supported in TWBlue (boost, add/remove from favorites or bookmarks, reply, send message to user, open post URL, play audio or video, open post on web, view conversation, open action dialog for user).
  • In user buffers, you can send private message to the user, and open user actions dialog, which in turn allows you to follow/unfollow, block/unblock and mute/unmute.
  • When writing posts, it is possible to attach up to 4 images, 4 givs, or even a video, poll, or audio. It is also possible to add the “sensitive content” tag to posts, change privacy and write a content warning text. It is possible to create threads using the “add post” button.
  • When replying to a post, TWBlue will place the username of all participants in the item you reply to. The privacy options will default to those of the original post.

To download the software, you can directly access the project download page or update automatically in case you are already using a version of the application. If you wish to report bugs, you can do so by mentioning the Twitter or Mastodon official TWBlue accounts. You can also report bugs through our GitHub bug reporting site.

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Test support for mastodon in TWBlue

Note: This article is about some software features in early development phase. It is not recommended for inexperienced users.

Today, here at MCV software, we have decided to release a preliminary version of TWBlue. Since October, we have intensified our efforts to make TWBlue an application capable of interacting with sessions for multiple services, being Mastodon our first additional social network. If you wish to follow the progress of this development, a pull Request is available on GitHub, where you can check the planned and currently implemented features. Since a considerable number of users have shown interest in early testing of Mastodon support, we have decided to release a version with these changes.

It is important that before downloading the release, please note that it contains code in early development. This code is experimental and it is possible that some features may not work properly, or even that due to the large number of changes that have been made to the application, some Twitter functions may have introduced new bugs. If that is the case, please report any bugs you find to the official accounts @tw_blue2 on Twitter, or @[email protected] on Mastodon.

This set of new features, as well as the rest of the code that currently exists in TWBlue, is available for anyone to check out, largely thanks to the donations people make to help keep the project running. If you think the project is worthwhile, keep in mind that you can always donate whatever you can via payPal. Thanks in advance!

This is the list of what’s new in the TWBlue version that includes support for mastodon instances. It is important to note that this release has been generated from source code that has not yet been merged into the main branch of the project. This means that the support for mastodon may still have significant changes and may contain several bugs. It is also possible that some features, which we plan to introduce in the near future, are not yet available. The idea of this release is to make it available for testing for anyone who wants to test it, and report unintentional bugs (there is a list of things we haven’t implemented yet, which we will also leave in these notes).

Mastodon support

All changes in this release are focused on adding Mastodon support to TWBlue. The features present to handle Twitter should not have been altered in any way.

  • As this is code that may still have many changes, the TWBlue interface has not yet been translated.
  • It is now possible to log in to instances of mastodon, hometown and similar software (Pleroma should work as well, although it has not been tested at this time). From the session manager, clicking on the “new account” button will bring up a menu from which you can select whether you want to log in to Twitter or Mastodon. For instances that have a different character limit than the one set by Mastodon, TWBlue will detect the new limit and adjust the dialogs to allow you to use it correctly.
  • Most of the TWBlue GUI has been adapted so that the buffers reflect the change of social network (in mastodon, for example, the buttons to write posts say post instead of tweet). However, the menu bar has not yet been updated. This means that most of the options still refer to Twitter, although they can be used with mastodon accounts. For example, if you select the “tweet” menu in the menu bar, and then select the “Retweet” option, TWBlue will actually do a “boost” if the buffer you are in is a Mastodon account buffer.
  • Keystrokes for the invisible interface also refer to terms used in Twitter, but can be applied to Mastodon as well.
  • There are some features, within TWBlue, that are not yet compatible with mastodon accounts. These are as follows:
    • User autocompletion.
    • Currently, it is not possible to update account settings for mastodon sessions. However, if you know how to edit configuration files, you can close TWBlue, change your session file with any text editor and restart the application to update what you want.
    • The template editor is not yet available for mastodon accounts.
    • Filters have not yet been implemented in TWBlue mastodon support.
    • User aliases are not implemented yet.
    • It is not possible to view a user’s profile, nor edit your own, for now. However, you can use the keystroke to open the item in the browser when focusing a user to access their profile website. This only works in buffers where users are listed.
    • You cannot manage lists in TWBlue at the moment.
  • Most of the buffers planned for mastodon should just work. Among those currently tested are: home (main timeline for the logged-in user), Local (public posts for the instance), federated (public posts for all federating instances), mentions, direct messages, sent posts, favorites, bookmarks, followers, following, blocked users, muted users, user searches and timelines for users.
    • The difference between favorites and bookmarks is that the author of the post can see who has marked his posts as favorites, but bookmarks are completely private. In any buffer containing mastodon posts, except direct messages, the GUI will display an option to add the post to favorites or bookmarks.
    • Direct messages in mastodon are posts, exactly like normal posts, but with their privacy setting set so that they can only be seen by the accounts that are mentioned. In the direct message buffer, a conversation will appear for each item in the buffer. The conversation represents a thread of messages, but TWBlue can only display the last of the messages sent. This is similar to what happens on platforms like Telegram, where you can only see the list of conversations at the beginning. To see the entire thread of direct messages present in a conversation, you can use the command to open the conversation, or go to the “tweet” menu in the menu bar, and then towards the “view conversation” option. This will create a new conversation buffer that will be located just after the direct messages buffer (for the GUI, the buffer will be located just inside the direct messages buffer in the buffer tree). When a private post appears (whose visibility only allows the mentioned accounts to see it), TWBlue will display that post in the home buffer, in mentions and also will update/create the conversation with that item. This is because Mastodon does not differentiate between a private message and a normal post. You can reply to the post in any buffer to continue the conversation. If you reply to any post, the privacy set in the original post is maintained by default, but can also be changed.
    • The buffer showing the federated timeline has been disabled from settings. This is because on servers that federate with many instances it can load many posts in a very short time. To enable this buffer, for now, edit the TWBlue configuration while the application is closed, and add the “federated” buffer in the option called “buffer_order”. As soon as buffers can be shown or hidden, this process can be done through the GUI.
    • There is a Streaming API that allows the elements for the start buffers, mentions, direct messages, sent posts and followers to appear in real time. This feature is implemented by default and should also just work.
    • Timelines for users only allow to get all posts from users who are in the same instance. For users belonging to other instances, you can get the posts that have been downloaded to your instance since your instance “knows” the remote user.
    • Timelines for followers and following can be fully retrieved only for users belonging to the same instance. Remote users may yield unclear results.
    • You can search by users (by opening a search and selecting the “users” radio button). The search can be done by local users, such as twblue, or by remote users, such as @[email protected]
  • In all buffers, a maximum of 40 items are retrieved per load, but more can be retrieved by using the option to load more items in the buffer.
  • In post buffers, you can do most of the actions already supported in TWBlue (boost, add/remove from favorites or bookmarks, reply, send message to user, open post URL, play audio or video, open post on web, view conversation, open action dialog for user).
  • In user buffers, you can send private message to the user, and open user actions dialog, which in turn allows you to follow/unfollow, block/unblock and mute/unmute.
  • When writing posts, it is possible to attach up to 4 images, 4 givs, or even a video, poll, or audio. It is also possible to add the “sensitive content” tag to posts, change privacy and write a content warning text. It is possible to create threads using the “add post” button.
  • When replying to a post, TWBlue will place the username of all participants in the item you reply to. The privacy options will default to those of the original post.

Download

Currently, we have released this preview version only in 64-bit, portable version. This version will not receive automatic updates, as it is not part of our regular development cycle. The recommendation is to use this version until the code is merged into the main branch, and once that is done, receive the update in our regular version (at this moment it is 2022.8.28).

Download TWBlue with support for Mastodon

Reporting bugs

In case of unexpected errors, please use our issue reporting form, or our social media accounts to report them: @tw_blue2 on Twitter or @[email protected] on Mastodon.

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News

TWBlue Version 2022.8.28 has been released

Today, after several delays due to different situations, we are pleased to announce a new version of TWBlue. This version is one of the last ones that will be compatible with Windows 7. We hope to release a couple of versions that will continue to be compatible with this operating system, but by the end of September, any version of TWBlue released will no longer be compatible with Windows 7 and earlier. Remember that TWBlue will always be available via the project’s download page, and its source code can be reviewed on both GitLab and GitHub. If you find the software useful and think it’s worthwhile, consider making a small donation with what you can, and help keep the project going. For more information, you can read the TWBlue page.

News

Highlights in this version include the ability to populate the user autocomplete database from the account options dialog, including all users in the follower/following buffer; improvements to displaying quoted retweets, as well as the ability to open threads from retweets and an improvement in the way TWBlue sorts tweets from threads in general. Below you can find a list of the latest changes since the previous version.

  • the user autocompletion feature has been completely rewritten to be easier to use, particularly for people with many followers/following users:
    • In the account settings dialog, there’s a button that opens up a new dialog that allows you to “scan” your account in order to add all users from your followers/following list. This process will read your data directly from Twitter and depending in the amount of people you have in your account it might take too many API calls. Please use it with caution. You can, for example, do the process separately for your followers/following people so it will be easier to handle, in case you have a massive amount of people. If TWBlue is unable to complete the scan, you will see an error and will be prompted to try again in 15 minutes, once your API calls have refreshed.
    • It is possible to use the user autocompletion functionality in dialogs where you can select an user, for example when adding or removing someone from a list, or displaying lists for someone.
  • Implemented a new setting, available in the account settings dialog, that allows to hide emojis in twitter usernames.
  • TWBlue should be able to sort conversations in a more logical way. This should make it easier to follow a long thread in Twitter.
  • When opening a thread, TWBlue should be able to load the right conversation if the original tweet from where the thread was loaded was a retweet.
  • TWBlue will restart the Streaming subsystem every time there are changes to followed, muted or blocked users within the application.
  • Fixed error when attempting to mention an user by using the “mention” button in any people buffer. Now tweets should be posted normally.
  • Fixed error when loading other user lists. (#465)
  • Fixed an issue that was making TWBlue to display incorrectly some retweets of quoted tweets.
  • If TWBlue is unable to open a timeline for someone who has blocked you, this will be reported in a dialog. (#485,)
  • Added “find a string in the currently focused buffer” action into Windows 10 and windows 11 keymap. (#476)

For Downloading this version, you can go to the project download page, or perform the update automatically in case you are already using an earlier version of the application. If you want to report a bug, you can do so by mentioning the official TWBlue Twitter account. You can also report bugs through our issue reporting site on GitHub.

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News

TWBlue 2022.2.23 has been released

Today we are pleased to announce the immediate availability of this year’s first version of TWBlue. TWBlue is a piece of software, available for Windows operating systems, that allows interaction with Twitter’s most important features from a convenient interface for screen reader users. The application is available via the project’s download page, and source code can be reviewed on both GitLab and GitHub. If you find the software useful and think it’s worthwhile, consider making a small donation with what you can, and help keep the project going. For more information, you can read the TWBlue page

News in this version

  • We have added Experimental support for templates in the invisible interface. The GUI will remain unchanged for now:
    • Each object (tweet, received direct message, sent direct message and people) has its own template in the settings. You can edit those templates from the account settings dialog, in the new "templates" tab.
    • Every template is composed of the group of variables you want to display for each object. Each variable will start with a dollar sign ($) and cannot contain spaces or special characters. Templates can include arbitrary text that will not be processed. When editing the example templates, you can get an idea of the variables that are available for each object by using the template editing dialog. When you press enter on a variable from the list of available variables, it will be added to the template automatically. When you try to save a template, TWBlue will warn you if the template is incorrectly formatted or if it includes variables that do not exist in the information provided by objects. It is also possible to return to default values from the same dialog when editing a template.
    • TWBlue can display image descriptions within Tweet templates. For that, you can use the $image_description variable in your template.
  • We have restored conversation and threads support powered by Twitter API V2 thanks to a set of improvements we have done in the application, as well as more generous limits to Tweet monthly cap by Twitter.
  • In the Windows 11 Keymap, the default shortcut to open the keystrokes editor is now CTRL+Alt+Windows+K to avoid conflicts with the new global mute microphone shortcut.
  • TWBlue show display properly HTML entities in tweet’s text.
  • TWBlue should no longer load old tweets in buffers.
  • Fixed issue when uploading attachments (images, videos or gif files) while sending tweets or replies.
  • Fixed an error that was making TWBlue to ask for a restart after saving account settings, even if such restart was not required. (#413,)

For Downloading this version, you can go to the project download page, or perform the update automatically in case you are already using an earlier version of the application. If you want to report a bug, you can do so by mentioning the official TWBlue Twitter account. You can also report bugs through our issue reporting site on GitHub.