Longtime readers are probably aware that there’s an @daringfireball Twitter account, which auto-posts links to articles shortly after they’re published. You should consider following if you’re not already. It’s also a good place to publicly comment on posts — I generally read all the mentions there (and for my personal account), and am always more up to date reading Twitter mentions than I am email. Twitter beats email for reading comments from readers because of its enforced brevity and the fact that I don’t have to open them, I can just scroll and read. (I really do try to keep up with reader email too, and switching to Hey for my public address has truly helped in that regard.) With Twitter’s app, you can even get notifications of new posts — go to the @daringfireball account profile and tap the little bell icon.
What prompted this periodic reminder about the DF Twitter account was a strange bug in my auto-poster. I don’t use a third-party service for posting these tweets; I wrote my own script to do it, so that auto-posted tweets would be formatted just right, like, say, in the rare case when a headline is too long to fit in a tweet. I wrote about the Tootbot back in February, when I (finally) updated it after moving Daring Fireball to a new server in November.
Anyway, last night, something went wrong, and the @daringfireball account tweeted out a handful of weeks-old posts. Turns out they were tweets from my old instance of the Tootbot, running on another server. It had stopped working last year when Twitter tightened the SSL encryption requirements for its API, and I never turned the thing off. So the poor little guy had been running for the last year, trying to post tweets every minute, nonstop, and failing. And for some reason, last night, Twitter started accepting those requests and posting them — but only occasionally — which is why only four duplicate tweets were posted, and they were posted hours apart. What a weird bug.
The old Tootbot is now resting in retirement.
★ Wednesday, 2 September 2020