Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Download DestroyTwitter

Download DestroyTwitter 1.6.0 Beta
Included in this release: Introducing the 1.6.0 Beta

What is DestroyTwitter?

DestroyTwitter is a compact though robust Twitter application built to run on Mac, Windows, and Linux using Adobe AIR. It consists of a series of canvases that constantly update to keep tweets up-to-date using notifications that appear when a new tweet arrives. DestroyTwitter uses a minimal amount of memory compared to its AIR-based alternatives without sacrificing functionality and performance. As a result, it can easily run in the background as an automated process.

About the Developer

Jonnie Hallman is a designer and programmer based in Baltimore. He develops applications for fun between work and school. DestroyTwitter is his thesis.

  • DestroyTwitter opens with a login screen where the user's username and password are entered to access the application.

  • About Window

    About Window

    The About Window can be prompted either by clicking the Application icon in the bottom navigation bar or by selecting About DestroyTwitter under the DestroyTwitter menu in Mac OS X. The window displays the running version of DestroyTwitter as well as a number of useful links. Included are links to the DestroyTwitter website, donate via PayPal, leave feedback, and report a bug.

  • Navigation

    The main navigation in DestroyTwitter consists of two bars on the top and bottom of the window.


    The top navigation consists of buttons that represent the tweet/message canvases, which are part of the top workspace. Clicking a button will select its canvas, sliding the workspaces vertically to its workspace and the workspace horizontally to the canvas.


    The bottom navigation holds the Application, Preferences, Account, and People buttons along with the Away and Tweet toggles. The Application button opens the About window. The other three buttons represent the respectable canvases. The Away toggle turns Away mode on and off. Tweet toggle opens and closes the Tweet composition. In Mac OS X, the key shortcut command+t toggles the composition as well.

  • Canvases

    Home Canvas

    The Home canvas consists of tweets by both the user and the user's friends. Unlike the other canvases, it can retrieve up to 200 tweets by using the Home tweet count preference.

    Replies Canvas

    The Replies canvas consists of tweets that have been in response to one of the user's tweets.

    Saved Canvas

    The Saved canvas consists of tweets that have been either marked as a favorite on Twitter or saved in DestroyTwitter. This canvas only refreshes when a tweet is saved in DestroyTwitter.

    Search Canvas

    The Search canvas consists of tweets that match a given keyword or set of keywords. Replies found in this canvas do not have a Dialogue option because the API method doesn't return the original tweet's ID. Codes similar to Gmail's search can be used such as "to:[username]", "from:[username]", "[keyword] AND [keyword]", and "[keyword] OR [keyword]".

    Messages Canvas

    The Messages canvas consists of direct messages sent to the user. These are shown with the sender's icon above the user's icon.

    Sent Canvas

    The Sent canvas consists of direct messages sent from the user. These are shown with the user's icon above the recipient's icon.

  • Tweets


    Tweets consist of the senders' icon, text, username, timestamp, and actions. Clicking the icon navigates to the user's profile in the People canvas. The text highlights usernames, hash tags, and URLs. Clicking a username navigates to the profile like the icon. Clicking a hash tags navigate to the Search canvas where a search for that tag is performed. The timestamp indicates when the tweet was created and can be clicked to navigate to the tweet's permalink in an external browser. If the tweet is a reply, a double chevron (») appears to the right of the timestamp. Clicking it opens the Dialogue panel and shows the tweet along with the tweet is in response to. The tweet's actions appear on rollover or when selected. There are also a number of key shortcuts for quick actions.

  • Messages


    Messages consist of many of the items included with tweets, but differ in a few ways. Each message has two icons—the sender's above and the recipient's below. Regarding actions, a message can be replied to or deleted.

  • Compositions

    The Compositions are used for all outgoing communication. Each has its own attachment if any, but all have the standard components and actions. These include a character counter, URL shortener using, TwitPic integration, and drag and drop TwitPic.

    Tweet Composition

    The Tweet composition sends a simple tweet. It is toggled by either the Tweet button in the bottom right or in Mac OS X with the key shortcut command+t.

    Reply Composition

    The Reply composition sends a reply to a specified tweet and includes the original tweet as reference. It also adds the recipient's username to the beginning of the message to show it's a reply, but since the tweet is marked as a reply, the prefix is not required.

    Message Composition

    The Message composition sends a direct message to a specified user and includes the recipient's icon, name, and username as reference.

    Reply Message Composition

    The Reply Message composition sends a reply to a specified direct message and includes the original direct message as reference.

  • Notifications

    Popup Notification

    When new tweets/messages appear, a notification popup drops down from the top right of the screen. It includes the type of new tweets/messages, count, and the most recent tweet/message.

    Canvas Notification

    When a canvas contains a new tweet/message, its button's text highlights. Selecting the canvas unhighlights the text. If the Highlight unread tweets/messages preference is selected, the text remains highlighted until the canvas's tweets/messages are marked as read.

  • Preferences

    There is a growing list of preferences in DestroyTwitter, giving users a lot of flexibility. The preferences are divided by section to keep things organized and improve readability.

    Refresh Intervals

    The Refresh Intervals preferences allow the user to set how often a canvas new content. Clicking and dragging the sliders will adjust the canvas' refresh times in real-time and display them to the right of the sliders' labels. As the times update, the left-over API calls are calculated and displayed below the sliders. Twitter allows each user to make no more than 100 API calls in one hour, regardless of the client or application. For example, retrieving tweets for a single canvas requires one API call. To disable a canvas, simply uncheck the checkbox to the right of its slider.


    The Application preferences provide a number of useful settings. Open at startup sets DestroyTwitter to launch when the user's computer boots up. Log in automatically skips the login screen and loads the user's workspace immediately on startup. Hide on close/Hide to system tray on minimize causes the DestroyTwitter window to become invisible on close (Mac OS X) or minimize (Windows/Linux) to save screen space instead of quitting the application. Always in front keeps the window in front of all others regardless of whether its in focus or not.


    The Workspace preferences allow the user to control settings specific to the workspace as a whole. These settings include the Wider workspace preference, which makes the workspace three columns wide for easier viewing. Automatically switch canvas after tweeting navigates to the canvas specific to the composed tweet/message after submitting it. Disable transitions removes animations between canvases, switching instantaneously.


    The Rules preferences are used for filtering the Home canvas. They allow the user to restrict the canvas to only showing particular users' tweets. What makes it different though is ability to exclude users as well. Excluding users shows tweets from all users except the ones listed under "Exclude these users." There is also an option to show only tweets that contain links. Users are added to each list by either clicking the plus sign or pressing the hotkey Command + Shift + I/E (Mac) or Control + shift + I/E (PC) to prompt Quick Friend Lookup where I is include and E is exclude. Users can also be added in other canvases by pressing either I or E while a tweet is selected. This adds the user who posted the selected tweet. To remove a user from a list, hold Option (Mac) or Alt (PC) and click the username. Clicking the username without holding the modifier navigates to that user's profile. Rules are applied the next time the Home canvas refreshes. Clicking "Apply rules" applies them immediately.


    The Canvas preferences currently has a single preference—Home tweet count. This controls how many tweets appear in the Home canvas. The default is 20 and the count can be set up to 200, but CPU and memory usages are affected in doing so.


    The Tweet/Message preferences deal with individual tweet and message appearance and functionality. International character support sets the font to Arial MS Unicode, which supports most languages. Bigger text increases the font's size from 11px to 14px for easier readability. Display users' real names shows the tweet author's actual name instead of his/her username. Twenty-four hour time displays each tweets timestamp in twenty-four hour format instead of twelve hour with AM/PM. Alternate retweet marker uses '>' instead of 'RT' to mark as tweet as a retweet. This saves characters by requiring only one character. Highlight unread tweets and messages draws a light border around tweets and messages that haven't been read yet. Read tweets and messages on hover marks unread tweets and messages as read by mousing over them rather than clicking. This works even if the DestroyTwitter window is not in focus.


    The Notifications preferences control notifications that appear when DestroyTwitter retrieves new tweets or messages. Disable notifications prevents DestroyTwitter from displaying the Notification window. Disable home notifications prevents only notifications from the Home canvas. Disable search notifications prevents only notifications from the Search canvas. Mute notification sound stops the notification sound from playing when the Notification window is displayed.


    The Debug preferences enable the user to clear icon cache and perform a complete cleaning of all cache and preferences. The latter of the two comes in handy if there's any innaccuracies and it needs to be tested.

  • Key Shortcuts

    • With a tweet selected, r replies
    • With a tweet selected, t retweets
    • With a tweet selected, s saves/unsaves
    • With a tweet selected, m messages the sender
    • With a tweet selected, u navigates to the sender's profile
    • With a tweet selected, i adds the sender to the Include list
    • With a tweet selected, e adds the sender to the Exclude list
    • With a tweet selected, opens the Dialogue panel
    • With a tweet selected, closes the Dialogue panel
    • With a tweet selected, up and down select the previous/next tweet
    • Shift+up/down and Page up/down scroll to the previous/next group of tweets
    • Home and End scroll to the top and bottom
    • Cmd+K (Mac) / Ctrl+K (PC) marks all tweets as read
    • Cmd+Shift+K (Mac) / Ctrl+Shift+K (PC) marks all canvases as read
    • Cmd+T (Mac) / Ctrl+T (PC) toggles the Tweet panel
    • Cmd+R (Mac) / Ctrl+R (PC) refreshes the current canvas
    • Cmd+Opt+A (Mac) / Ctrl+Alt+A (PC) sets the Home canvas to All
    • Cmd+Opt+I (Mac) / Ctrl+Alt+I (PC) sets the Home canvas to Include
    • Cmd+Opt+E (Mac) / Ctrl+Alt+E (PC) sets the Home canvas to Exclude
    • Cmd+Opt+L (Mac) / Ctrl+Alt+L (PC) sets the Home canvas to Links
    • Cmd+Shift+I (Mac) / Ctrl+Shift+I (PC) prompts the Quick Friend Lookup for the Include list while in the Preferences canvas
    • Cmd+Shift+E (Mac) / Ctrl+Shift+E (PC) prompts the Quick Friend Lookup for the Exclude list while in the Preferences canvas
  • Dialogue


    The Dialogue panel displays a reply and the tweet its in response to. This is accessible by clicking the "»" to the right of a reply's date or pressing the right arrow key with a reply selected.

  • TwitPic Integration

    TwitPic is available in all compositions and it can be prompted in two way—the twitpic button at the bottom left of the composition or drag and drop.

    Twitpic Drag and Drop

    At any time, whether the composition is open or not, an image can be dragged to the window and the composition appears. Releasing the file begins the upload.

    Twitpic Uploading

    Once the upload begins, progress of the file transfer appears and upon completion the URL is pasted in the message.

  • Quick Friend Lookup

    Quick Friend Lookup

    Quick Friend Lookup helps entering usernames in compositions. Typing "@" prompts the lookup where the beginning letters to a friend's username narrow down the selection. The top username in the list is highlighted, so when the intended username is selected, pressing the enter/return key will auto-complete and paste it. Usernames in the list can also be clicked. Pressing escape will close the lookup.

  • Away Mode

    Away Mode

    Away Mode pauses all tweet canvases in case the user needs to step away from the computer without it continuing to update. It can also be used to disable notifications in a single click without navigating to the Preferences canvas.

    Away Toggled


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