You would be hard-pressed to go anywhere or even watch television without hearing some reference to “Twitter”, “tweets”, or “tweeting”. From your cousin in Iowa to Shaquille O’Neal, all types of people from all walks of life have taking a liking to Twitter.
Whether or not Twitter will become a technological standard as email or just a passing fad, remains to be seen. What is clear, however, is that if you want to use Twitter while it is hot, you will probably want some type of client so that you do not always have to open your web browser and go to Twitter.com.
For KDE there are a few options, but there is one that I have found to be superior to them all. Keep reading, or if Twitter has convinced you that you can only process 140 characters of information at one time, scroll to the end of this article.
KDE Twitter widget
Yes, KDE comes with its own Twitter widget. To get it, simply open the “add widget” dialog on the desktop and drag the widget called “Twitter Microblogging” to your desktop. You then must configure it. You can tell it to display a set number of updates and include the updates of people you are following. From that point on, anytime you want to post a tweet, you just type it into the box.
There are some limitations to this widget. For example, if you are like me and have a hard time keeping up with other people’s tweets because you are supposed to be writing articles like this one, you end up with a back log of tweets to read.
KDE Twitter widget will only display as many at a time as will fit on your screen. It does not have scrollbars. Even displaying ten took up the length of my screen, and twenty made the widget taller than the screen. There also appears to be no way to view past replies or direct messages. These limitations make it useful for the occasional tweeter, but hardcore enthusiasts will want more.
Despite its rather pessimistic name, this QT-based full-featured client might very well make you want to never quit Twitter. The only trouble you might have with it is installing.
The developer’s site has a binaries for Windows, Mac OS X, and a generic debian package, which is x86 only. In addition it includes two pre-compiled Linux binaries, one for x86 and x86_64. I needed the 64-bit one, which I downloaded and ran without any problems. I cannot predict whether or not it will work for all distributions or what dependencies it has.
It comes with a host of features:
1. Reply, forward, and direct message buttons for each tweet.
2. Tool tip notifications of new tweets (I actually find this quite annoying, but you may like it).
3. System tray icon.
4. A host of tabs down the left-hand side including: Search, Outbox, Inbox, Custom, Replies, Public, and Home. With “Custom” you can apparently type in any twitter username and see their tweets.
The downside to Qwit, aside from the name, is that it is not a native KDE application but rather a pure QT application. In order to have it looking like a KDE app, you will need to install and run qtconfig-qt4 and then select your KDE style of choice. Because it is not native KDE, you will miss standard KDE features such as in-line spell checking. Aside from that, however, Qwit is a solid Twitter client worth considering.
Like many other KDE applications, developed by people from various countries all over the world, I have no idea how to properly pronounce Choqok (an ancient Persian word for “sparrow”). Then again, why do you need to pronounce it when you can just tweet it?
Installing on Kubuntu was a breeze. The Universe package repository includes version 0.4. Once installed, you will notice the attractive blue bird head icon. Just click on it, and you are ready to tweet. Like Qwit, Choqok includes a host of features:
1. A timer for updates.
2. You can set the number of tweets visible at one time.
3. Reply and favorite buttons that appear with a mouseover.
4. Home, Reply, Inbox, and Outbox tabs across the top.
5. An easy direct message box.
6. An advanced searching tool.
7. Configurable colors and appearance.
8. Support for Identi.ca
9. Secure https connection option.
10. Automatic URL shortener.
11. KDE-integrated notifications.
12. A system tray icon.
Choqok is my KDE twitter client of choice. It has not disappointed me. If you skipped the entire article just to read this part, shame on you; Twitter has corrupted you. If you read the entire article, there might be hope for you yet.