I updated the simple Plan 9 microblogging scripts, mb(1), not often but sometimes also called “microbe”, and almost never known as “meekroh-bee”.

All file and environment variable names have changed since the last release (c.2009, AD), replacing the “special” character micro (HTML’s µ, µ, µ) with a plain m.

The awk | sed filter pipeline at the center of any useful improvement was taken from Stanley Lieber’s tw Twitter script.

mb/read changes

  • Uses XML API
  • Changed output order: now oldest-first. A feature, especially in acme(1). Get the old school, newest-first ordering by appending, e.g., | sed 'x;1!H;$!d;x'.
  • No timestamps shown
  • No “from client” source tag shown
  • Directory moved from /rc/bin/µb/ to /rc/bin/mb/
  • Environment variables renamed:
    • µblog to mbapiurl
    • µsr to mbuser

mb/write changes

Trivial. Write always spoke API, so the the changes were limited, syncing env names, etc.

Example: Twitter

A side effect of proper API use gives mb/read ready access to Twitter timelines through services like the Supertweet API proxy.

To use the Supertweet service, visit their site to OAuth‘orize a Supertweet account to your Twitter account. You must then assign a password to your Supertweet account that will be used for HTTP Basic auth to the API proxy. You can then mb/read and mb/write Twitter:

Say it:

mb/write -h http://api.supertweet.net/1 Hello World.

See it:

mb/read -h http://api.supertweet.net/1

You’ll be asked for the proxy name and password you created at Supertweet unless it is available from factotum(4).