Sunday, June 14, 2009

Twitpocalypse? No, just sloppy design

Ars Technica wrote a little article about how the interwebs were all a-twitter over its belief in a looming Twitpocalypse. Everything Twitter was supposed to shut down because somebody, somewhere, decided to use a signed 32-bit value as a unique key for every tweet posted to Twitter. Once the value rolled past 2,147,483,647 and into negative territory then everything was supposed grind to a screeching halt. And then all those Twits who couldn't tweet would just shrivel up and die. If only.

Well, things didn't turn out as catastrophic as many had feared (unfortunately). I've been experimenting with three Twitter clients. One of them has failed, I would suspect, due to the 32-bit value roll-over. The client that failed is Twitterific on my iPod Touch. The other two clients, twhirl for Windows and the regular Twitter web interface, seem to be cooking right along.



I can't complain too much about Twitterific. The Touch (and by association the iPhone) make a poor Twitter client due to the lack of a real keypad. Typing with the virtual keyboard is painfully slow. And since it was free it turns out to be worth exactly what I paid for it. Nothing. I'm debating now whether to wipe Twitterific off or wait for the long, slow, tortuous Apple process to accredit and spit out a Twitterific update that fixes the problem. Yeah, I think my morbid curiosity in this matter motivates me to hang onto the old and busted just so I can see what happens.

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