Channel Your Vision – Call Me Maybe API

Hi! I am starting to dive deeper into the current challenge – Programming Twitter API. Just a quick basic review of the API requirements before we make any calls! Oh wait, why not take a look at what an API call looks like?


If you type the URL shown in that snapshot into your browser of choice, you will see something like this displayed:


Ugh! How messy is that? I really hope you will be able to look through that mess and identify some information that could help you build something useful!

Now back to basics: Rate Limiting - Twitter allows up to 150 unauthorized calls per hour (it could be per an application or IP address). Authorized calls have a limit of 350 per hour! You might say, well, 150 is a little smaller if you think of it. How do I get more calls? Whitelisting - This will enable you to get more calls per hour but it is discouraged by Twitter in favor of other techniques like caching, etc.

Take an even closer look at the snapshot below and we will then answer the questions: What are the fields returned and what data types are included?


What we should agree on is that making an API call does not return such clean and formatted data as shown above! You can use a simple script to achieve the same. Either way, assuming you have turned that mess into the above JSON data, you can see several fields: coordinates, Favorited, truncated, created_at, id_str, entities, and many more. The second question is also easy to answer: data types – string, Boolean, objects, arrays, integers etc. Keep looking, you may find something I didn’t mention.

Let us intentionally make an API call that is broken and then see what happens:


There you have it! You get an error message. I didn’t supply the required screen_name or user_id  to the user_timeline method. Try it and see what happens! Be curious.

Third question: Path-style vs. Argument-style API calling. Which one is used by Twitter. Twitter uses both! There is a lot to be said here but I will not start a discussion for it today!

Finally: What is RESTful APII will start by saying this is an advanced concept. In simple terms, it is an API that conforms to the REST constraints and is basically based on a setup where the client sends a request to the server and the server processes the request and returns the result to the client. It uses HTTP protocol. It is also a counterpart to SOAP.

That should do it for today! I hope you found this helpful as you forge a journey through Twitter APIs. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. If you have a blog, please leave a link below so I can check it out!

Happy New Year! Peace Be With You!

Written By Elisha Chirchir

Elisha Chirchir is a software developer. He is also the founder of Simple Developer and co-founder of Instinctive Software Solutions. On any given day, he works on both Android and Web Development. During his 'free time', he offers training to those interested in learning how to code in php, java, python, javaScript etc. You can easily find him on StackOverflow Android chatroom or on Twitter @Eenvincible

2 Comments on “Channel Your Vision – Call Me Maybe API

  1. Fleon Reply

    January 1, 2013 at 9:29

    Good blog. Nice to see you firing through the exercises so quickly. I’m sure you know this by now but JSON is an acronym for JavaScript Object Notation 🙂

    I’ve just started the challenges myself (new year resolution). You can find my blog at . It’s pretty sparse right now but Oak trees do come from acorns, so…

    • joylaxpower Reply

      January 1, 2013 at 6:19

      Thank you for stopping by mate! I am glad you liked my posts and thanks again for dropping me a link to yours so I can check it out. Please, let us keep in touch!

      I have been using JSON for a long time! Thanks for the heads up!

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