DigiTweet - ‘cause I really love but hate Tweetdeck
Last week I was at the Mesh Conference here in Toronto. In addition to being a great event, it was probably the centre of the Canadian Twitter universe for 2 days. Everyone was using Twitter. I mean everyone – and not just to connect, but to ask questions, challenge speakers and to promote key thoughts and issues. It made for a very dynamic conference environment (something I wish we could replicate at some of our own events)
Now, I love Twitter. Like many users I have moved away from the website to a client application. (Powerful software, combined with the cloud – sound familiar?) It was clear from Mesh that the tool of choice for the Twitter power user is Tweetdeck. It was loaded on every screen on every PC, Mac or Ubuntu powered laptop.
Now, there is a lot to like about the application. Follower management, search, groups, Twitpic, URL shortening – it has it all. This is why I use Tweetdeck everyday. The developers have done a really great job – period. There are other applications (Twhirl, DestroyTwitter, Digsby, Twitterrific, Witty, etc….) but none of them have gained the same traction as Tweetdeck.
With my Microsoft Developer hat on for a moment, there are a few things that bug me about Tweetdeck.
- It runs in AIR. I know, this makes it cross-platform. I know, it’s a light-weight application. It bugs me that the amazing .NET community can’t write something this good. (I know they can)
- It doesn’t take advantage of the Windows universe as well as it could (due to it’s cross-platform nature). This is especially true of Windows 7.
- Nothing against the fine products from our friends at Adobe, but I would love to see an application like this written in WPF or Silverlight.
Now, the only way any of these three things will get solved is if the developer community wants it to. This brings us to digiTweet . You may have seen this out in the wild already. What you may not know is that digiTweet is an Open Source project, sponsored initially by my team at Microsoft Canada in conjunction with our friends at Digiflare.
DigiTweet is obviously a desktop application for Twitter. It is built completely using .NET technologies and takes particular advantage of the power of WPF (Windows Presentation Foundation) which is the part of .NET that enables developers to build powerful user experiences on Windows. Additionally, DigiTweet will be implementing several Windows 7 specific features in the coming weeks.
Why did we do this? We wanted to spark our developer community in hopes of building a better mousetrap. I think that a WPF powered application, combined with the power of Windows can provide Twitter users with an amazing experience. This is why it was important for us to expose this publically by making it Codeplex project. We want as many innovative developers as possible to contribute to making this the best Twitter client for Windows as possible. (and hopefully showcase what WPF can do along the way)
So, give digiTweet a try. More importantly, download the code a try make it better. Let us know how it goes. You can also follow digiTweet’s progress on Twitter @digi_tweet