Enter the mobile interfaces such as TwitStat, Slandr, Tweete, Dabr, amongst others. These worked great for a long while. Even when Twitter got added to a block list at many workplaces, these mobile interfaces were sufficient workarounds, as they could log into the API behind the scene.
In June of ’10, Twitter introduced OAuth, a new way to authenticate with Twitter, besides just entering a username & password combination. It would log into Twitter.com & ask the user if they wanted to authorise the site/app they had come from. This meant people building their own clients and apps didn’t have to worry about saving passwords or security, at all, it could all be done by Twitter. It also meant 3rd party apps weren’t storing sensitive information.
On the face of it, this may sound great as it was easier for Developers and tougher for scamming hackers, but for the average Joe like myself, things were about to turn sour.
By the end of August ’10, Twitter decided to move to OAuth entirely for all connections made, which meant none of these interfaces worked any more unless you had direct access to Twitter.com (which as mentioned earlier, had been blocked at the workplace).
Enter David Carrington. Technically a re-emergence to the story. I mentioned earlier among the mobile interfaces one called Dabr. This was written by David. Soon after this August update by Twitter, he wrote an interface that allowed one to sign in to Dabr using OAuth (just like everyone else was forced to), but also implemented the ability to then save the OAuth token in a hidden database.
This allowed users to log in from other locations without having to re-authorise using OAuth, provided they authorised it the once & then created a dabr password. All was well in my world once more. I authorised on my phone & then used my new password to log into dabr at work without having to give all this tech-jargon a second thought.
This victory was short-lived as Dabr started to get blocked at workplaces too.
Thankfully, David has been kind enough to make the source for his Dabr interface open-source. I have now created, with his help, a clone of the Dabr interface here & called it Chyawanprash.
The origins of this name come from Dabur Chyawanprash. It was an in-joke with the Indian Twitterati who are familiar with this herbal product like myself. Growing up watching adverts for this, it’s the first thing that crossed our minds whenever we read the word ‘Dabr’, and based on it’s reputation, it just seemed perfectly apt.
In their own words:
Dabur Chyawanprash has anti-oxidant properties & strengthens your body’s internal defense mechanism, the immune system, thereby protecting you from everyday infections, cough, cold & stress etc.
So here it is; the Dabr mobile Twitter interface hosted here by @jun6lee himself. Here’s hoping that others might find this as useful as I do & that the victory isn’t as short-lived this time: