Why are Twitter Clients all AIR or .NET?

I currently use twhirl, because it’s the only Twitter client I’ve found for Windows so far that I can stand.  It’s simple, unintrusive, single column, and just generally looks decent and works well.  There are a few problems though…

1) It’s written in Adobe AIR.  Task Manager reveals that twhirl is second only to Outlook in using up my precious, precious RAM.

Task Manager Screenshot

AIR 😦

I might overlook this if I were running it on my main PC with 4GB (the future is now!), but I run email, IRC, messaging clients, etc. on my laptop which has only 1GB.

Which reminds me of DestroyTwitter which boasts, among other things, of having “an unbelievably small footprint”.  How does memory usage of as low as 25MB sound?  Pretty believable, and a bit high for something that only has to display a few lines of text and some icons.

Destroy Twitter Website

That's unpossible!

2) It’s out of date, doesn’t support the new ReTweet functionality for example, and doesn’t appear to be under active development, as Seesmic has moved on to Seesmic Desktop.  Recently I’ve been discovering other bugs, that I just didn’t notice before or because the Twitter API is changing in subtle ways that twhirl isn’t liking.

3) And the final nail in the coffin, as far as I know, there are no plans to add OAuth support to twhirl.  Which is going to become a problem on August 16th, when Twitter disables basic authentication and requires all clients to use OAuth.

I think it’s about time the C++ community took a hint from apps like uTorrent, and started developing lightweight native Twitter clients for Windows.

Update: Oops, I had said DestroyTwitter is .NET, it’s actually AIR too.  A few other clients, like Blu and Seesmic for Windows are .NET.

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3 Responses to Why are Twitter Clients all AIR or .NET?

  1. Mike R says:

    You might wanna checkout http://mike.verdone.ca/twitter/ I’d imagine you’d just need to install Active Python and you’d be off to the races :).

  2. poop says:

    You should write a pure win32 version of a twitter client. I think there’s 2 out there but they both kind of sucks (due to not complete or etc). If you do one I’ll be using it for sure.

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