Pirate tweet

September 19 is International Talk Like a Pirate Day.For this day, the Yahoo! Query Language (YQL) team announced on the YDN blog that they were bringing out a "pirate table". This table would allow us to translate plain English to piratespeak using YQL. I had been meaning to play around with YQL a bit and took this opportunity to dive in. I couldn't complete it in time for September 19 because of work, but managed to finally get it in some shape today. What I made is something I call "Pirate Tweet".

Pirate tweet allows you to read your most recent tweets in piratespeak. Just enter a twitter username and you get the tweets in piratespeak. You can get the source at http://labs.gingerjoos.com/piratetweet/piratetweet.tar.gz . Please do link back to this post if you do use it. It is written in PHP and uses PHP's builtin SimpleXML as well as libcurl. What is in there is just a rough basic barebones quick-and-dirty stuff. It includes an index.php file which takes care of spitting out the actual html. The common.php file does the actual processing. pirate-tweet.css file is some very basic css.

The twitter RSS feed for a user is something like http://twitter.com/statuses/user_timeline/USERNAME.rss . This is fed into the YQL query which does the translation, like this
SELECT * FROM piratespeak.translate
(SELECT description FROM rss
So you send this query to http://query.yahooapis.com/v1/public/yql with the params

$params = array ( 'q' => $query, 'format' => 'xml', 'env' => 'store://kid666.com/piratespeak', );

So that's basically what it does. Hope someone finds this useful :)

I must say that YQL seems like a very interesting tool. Hopefully the MS - Yahoo! deal will have no negative impact on it. Without doubt, YQL is the star in Yahoo!'s products for developers. The ability to express data as queries is mind - blowing. Looking forward to doing more stuff with YQL.

Known issues :

Even links are passed as is to the YQL query. This results in, for example, http://is.gd/3oBWf to become http://be.gd/3oBWf .

Acknowledgment :
Much thanks to the YQL guys at Yahoo! and their wonderful documentation.

Also see :

Previously mentioned blog post has some more stuff using the same table.

Chris Heilmann made some stuff with the table as well. Do check it out.

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