Something's amiss about Twitter...

Consider this a public announcement fellow Windows Phone users, you might notice some strange behaviour in several of your favourite Twitter-enabled apps, ours included.

We kept an eye on this story yesterday when we were alerted by Chris Field (the mind behind MehDoh) that he was spotting errors being returned by the Hammock library (a popular .NET library used for accessing RESTful web services). Specifically, it appears that Twitter have changed their API slightly, or introduced a small bug, which is causing errors when users try and log in to Twitter within third party apps.

The issue is not affecting everyone. In fact I can authorise all my Twitter apps and use all tweeting, replying and retweeting functionality, however I've also seen users of our v2.0 app beta sending me bug reports that are caused by this issue. If it happens to you, try again, it might authorise second time around.

Jump past the break if you want to know more...

If you hit the source link you'll see there is an ongoing discussion with the Twitter API staff regarding this issue, and a couple of the developers out there seem to have figured out a workaround to fix whatever broke in the Twitter API. I'll try to keep the technical details light but the issue seems to be that Twitter is sporadically encoding their API responses with GZIP compression, apparently almost at random.

This is a serious issue that appears to be getting worse (we're seeing more and more bug reports relating to it), Chris has even gone so far as to ask Brandon Watson to speak to the powers that be within Twitter.

So why will this problem be so widespread within the Windows Phone community? Simple, Hammock is a big library, and it's used by probably the most popular Twitter integration library for Windows Phone: Tweetsharp. I am a huge fan of Tweetsharp, it's one of the easiest libraries I've ever had the pleasure of utilising in any software I've written, in fact I put out a blog post expressing how easy it had been to use in the WPCentral app. In fact, the official Twitter app for Windows Phone uses the Tweetsharp Library, it's that highly rated - by extension, the official Twitter app may well be affected by this issue.

Our advice? Most of the problems seem to relate to the initial authorisation/log in process, so if you're logged into your favourite Twitter app, think twice before signing out and in again for whatever reason. You will still be able to tweet from the 'Me' tile so you can get your fix one way or the other. Lastly, bear with your favourite developers as we work out a way to fix this issue ourselves, unless Twitter (or the guys behind Hammock) decide to solve the problem on their end.

Source: @mrcfield,

Jay Bennett